Authoritarianism -Favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.
The strident martinet Priti Patel a woman who is far more interested in her public relations profile and good newsprint count seems to have forgotten that she is merely a representative of the people not some tsarist police minister. The police were founded on the Peelian Police Principles to placate the fears of Victorians who did not want a French style paramilitary gendarmerie. The Police were not to be a National Police Force but locally accountable.
Scotland has abandoned that principle and opted for Police Scotland whose remit is to enforce the social policies of the SNP government . Police Scotland was created as recently as 2013 with the merger of ten police forces. Much the same is happening in Wales with the Heddlu.
The slide into political correctness confirmed by the appointment of Cressida Dick in the Met and their new role as Hancock’s enforcers of ‘the rules’, gives us some idea of the future role of policing in the post Covid world.
Rather than keep the peace , the paramilitary police will be engaged in wholesale surveillance of the public and enforcing any lunatic policy dreamt up by a clique in Westminster already devoid of contact with the public. Fear and intimidation are the methods used by all authoritarian regimes. We have seen plenty of daily evidence of that by the Home Office and Chief Constables as we approach the first anniversary of rolling lockdown , a prison term much favoured by the BBC
This party calls for the direct election of chief constables , not appointees and a legal confirmation of policing by consent.
A reminder of the Peelian Police Principles
1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.