Written by Chris Hobbs, retired Met police officer
Those lambasting the police in general and the Met, in particular, create the impression that policing has no redeeming features: no acts of bravery or kindness; no life-saving first aid, no compassionate dealings with those suffering a mental health crisis (the Met alone dealt with 40,000 calls linked to mental health incidents last year).
While British policing isn’t perfect and wrongs must be corrected, how far do the strident critics of front-line officers, including those in the media, retired senior officers, politicians and activists, wish to push their denigration and demonisation?
There is a tsunami of potential evil out there, waiting for the chance to roll over a depleted and demoralised police service.
Gangs, groups from the hard-left and far-right, anti-vaxxers and terrorists will try to take full advantage.
The ‘extra’ 20,000 officers the government has promised will only take numbers up to the inadequate level of 2010, one of the lowest police-to-population ratios in Europe.
There are already concerns that the service, with many youthful inexperienced officers and retention problems, would be unable to cope with riots on the scale of 2011.
Fuel and food shortages and other major social concerns could lead us into a nightmare scenario.
To those joining the feeding frenzy against British policing, I’d say be careful what you wish for.
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