Greater Manchester Police, like other forces before them, have been lambasted for following national policy on the pursuit of motorcycles…
A man killed in a motorbike crash in south Manchester was a suspected thief who police previously refused to pursue because he was not wearing a helmet. (BBC News)
Conversely, many forces are also subjected to the same type of media treatment when similar results befall miscreants who were actually pursed. How can this be right?
As an aside, it is also interesting how The Sun, chose the headline “Health & Safety Halts Cop Chase” when reporting the incident. This in itself is a further example how media headlines distort public perception of reality. The circumstances of the incident actually have nothing to do with Health & Safety legislation per se however, the choice of words adds fuel to the fire for those who seek changes in Health & Safety legislation for political or financial reasons. But back to the point of this post…
The days where suspected crooks are likely (or prepared) to stop for a police officer are actually long gone. Perhaps if suitably severe sentences were applied to the offence of failing to stop for a police officer were applied, then maybe things would be slightly different? But that is also another story.
It is widely accepted in policing circles that; the safest and usually most succesful method to be employed in the pursuit of criminals evading capture in or on motor vehicles is the helicopter. However, even with the increase in police air support resources over recent years, this method is not cheap. Once again effective policing is actually goverened by budgetary considerations and the size and depth of the public purse.
I think politicians are starting to realise that effective policing actually comes at a cost to the taxpayer. I am not so shure the public or the media are fully conversant with that fact?
I find it increasly hard to stomach how our society (often fired up by the media) seeks to impose, what can only be described as dual standards. Expectations that are considered applicable, dependant upon your personal viewpoint or individual desire. The laws of this country are applicable to all and, must be applied consistantly and without fear or favour, which is generally the case. You either want the police to try and catch the oik who stole your property or you dont, which is it?
Get real people, it’s a shitty world out there and in many respects actually getting shittier by the day. I am all for police accountability, I appreciate the need for procedures and standards however the simple fact is; so long as criminals seek to avoid the consequences of their actions, by every and any method at their disposal, it is possible they will get hurt (or worse). And, so long as the police have acted correctly and within the law, should it really matter that the (suspected) offender ends up answering to a higher authority?
You can’t have it both ways!
- No helmet suspect killed in crash (bbc.co.uk)
- Police ordered not to chase motorbike raiders (telegraph.co.uk)
- Safety fears stops police pursuit (bbc.co.uk)
- Police avoided chasing no-helmet bike thieves (independent.co.uk)
- Health & Safety halts cop chase (thesun.co.uk)
- Police chief Peter Fahy defends officers who let motorbike theft suspects ride away (menmedia.co.uk)