It appears that politicians, in particular David Cameron and Theresa May have now been criticising the police for not taking firm enough action to control the recent civil disturbances.
I am dismayed by this, as are the police. I fear that the public will see the politicians’ comments as unfair, unwarranted, and ill-advised.
Senior officers point out that the decision to deploy police in large numbers was taken ‘well in advance of politicians becoming involved’ and that the role of politicians in these extreme circumstances is an ‘irrelevance’.
The police also state that although it is right for politicians to return from holiday in these extreme circumstances, it is wrong for them to give the impression that ‘someone is now in charge’: The prime minister and his team are hardly going to man the barricades!
Destruction on the scale we have seen is frightening and cannot be excused. But however unacceptable such behaviour is, the causes must be addressed – honestly and intelligently. Cause and effect is a solid scientific principle – we, as a society, reap what we sow.
Please do not misinterpret this as a support for the wreckers and looters – I simply believe that it is time to have a quiet, dignified discussion about what is going wrong, and how we can address it.
Mr Cameron and Ms May should not automatically try to deflect attention from themselves by unfairly focusing on the police or any other sector of society.
Such action is self-centred and uninspiring. I expect honesty, humility, and realistic proposals from our leaders, not knee-jerk ‘blame-game’ statements that offer no solutions.
Cllr Keith Hutson