Thursday, 2 April 2015

Close the Arches! Be seen doing something!

Even with my amazing contacts and unsurpassed analytical skills, I can't quite work out what happened over the weekend at The Arches. Although I won't be signing any petitions (I just don't, because they are information gathering exercises), or joining in with the lawyer's justification (which is my old friend 'we do art, so we are important'), the behaviour of the police disturbs me. 

Forgive me if I am misreading this - it is a little unclear what the sequence of events was - but did the police, finding an unconscious women outside the club, storm in, switch off the music, force everyone outside, then stopped and searched them. This led to various arrests, including 'alcohol-related offences' (a rather general crime). If there was public disorder in this period, is there any suggestion that the antics of the keystone cops provoked it? 

Of course not. But here's the Record's report from the Scottish Police Federation conference. Something about the pressure on the police to get results. That wouldn't encourage over-zealous policing, would it?

POLICE Scotland's target culture was today blasted by the body that represents rank and file officers.
Delegates at the event  were also told there is no simple solution to the stop and search debacle...

Docherty used his opening address to hit out at targets, which he claimed were designed to give politicians control over police activity and to check they were getting value for money.

He said: “They introduced business practices and accountancy measures to try and show on a balance sheet whether they were obtaining a good police service.

“This is where things started to go wrong.

“Policing cannot be explained in pure statistical terms for what is measurable is not always meaningful and the meaningful is not always measurable.

“Are two serious assaults in one division better or worse than three minor assaults in another?

“How do you measure the value and contribution of a beat officer who takes years to build trust and confidence in a community?

Yes. What do you call it when a nation's behaviour is determined at the discretion of the constabulary? Two words, beginning with P and S?

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