Let’s Get On The Beat…!!!

A Rare Event: It was a Tuesday evening, around 7pm, and I was just on my way out to play table tennis, but had to turn back as my ex-wife, who was out walking the dog, had forgotten her key. I said I would meet her (and the dog) at the top of the road and take them back to the house. Just as I pulled up to meet her I saw two policemen on the beat. I really wish I'd wound down the window and remarked to them what a pleasure it was to see them. I can't remember the last time I saw policemen on the beat in our neighbourhood. Some years ago we had a police drop-in centre over the road, so policemen and community policemen were often coming and going, but since it was relocated, policemen on the beat are sadly a very rare event around here.

Great For The Community: There are many advantages to having policemen on the beat, from keeping the speeding motorist and the local youths in check, to picking up local knowledge and intelligence, making burglars and other villains think twice, improving public relations and simply making people in general feel safer and more secure - which of course they are. For decent people, there are no negatives and yet while our government makes further cuts in life-degrading areas, as it panders to the rich and the super-rich, we see less and less of what ordinary people need and would like to see, including the good old beat-bobby. What policemen we do have nowadays also have to spend their time addressing mental and social care issues in the community, attending to people who require basic psychiatric assistance, but have no other support. As the Government cuts back it has put even more excessive and inappropriate demands on our police service and has left us with an absence of policemen on the beat.

Slated For Being Honest! In 2015 the Police Federation chairman, Steve White, highlighted this problem with the lack of beat-bobbies, citing the positives and negatives. For his trouble and his honesty, he was effectively slated by the Home Secretary, accusing him of 'crying wolf' and 'scare-mongering'. Crying wolf I have personally always associated with not telling the truth and I wonder if this is what the Home Secretary was implying, that Mr White was in fact lying. Personally, I think it is a scary fact that policemen on the beat ARE an endangered species, as Mr White commented. He was being totally honest and facing up to facts in the hope that someone in an appropriate position may listen. Most people would agree whole-heartedly with what he said, because it is the truth, as most of us of a certain age know, having lived through the decline! If Mrs May thinks it is scare-mongering to face the truth, what does she suggest? That we ignore the truth, pretend all is well and all bury our heads in the sand? What with that and a lack of bobbies on the beat, the villains would be having a great time! There is something not too pretty in that picture of the ostrich with its head buried in the sand, as it leaves another part of your anatomy sticking up in the air and rather exposed. I think we get the drift.

Let's Not Pretend! I do wonder about politicians. They are despicable, self-interested creatures at times and they simply do not tell the truth. They literally lie through their teeth and expect us all to believe it. Unfortunately, until we get some true decency in our society and our structure of management, we may have to put up with it, but rest assured, we don't have to fall for it! Perhaps the real worry for Mrs May in the truth coming out is that she doesn’t want to admit what an awful job the Government are doing on behalf of the ordinary people as they pick away at, and diminish, all that we value. However, let me say for the benefit of all politicians, telling the truth, the real truth, scary or not, does serve the public interest and it's a shame we don't see more of it from our politicians! The politicians may like to pretend that things are a certain way, as they pander to and stoke the bank accounts of the rich, however, the simple fact is that the truth is still the truth, and that does not change! Regardless of what they say, or would have us believe!
Crosstalk by Taz: January 2016