Contrary to how the Government tends to portray police officers, mostly to further their politically based so-called reforms; many of them are intelligent, well read and poses academically sound credentials but above all else, many of them actually hold genuine concern for the society they serve. Unfortunately many self-serving politicians and senior police managers are often devoid of similar traits…
Until relatively recently many of those ‘thinking’ police officers have remained silent about the issues impacting upon your police service. Now, mostly thanks to the power of the internet with social networks and blogging, some have been prepared to risk their livelihood for the job they’re devoted to. James Patrick is one of those officers.
I’ve asked myself this week how our society, a free speaking democracy has come to this, the mess that we see laid out before us. The answer, as close as I can get to it before it runs out of my grasp again, is this: It’s not that we don’t care anymore, not that we’ve given up. It’s that we care when we aren’t working, shopping, drinking, dating, sleeping, eating, exercising, holidaying or, watching the X Factor. This has left our generation open to the exact conditions that make it possible for us to be swallowed, by whichever tide is strongest, while we aren’t looking…(James Patrick’s Dangerous Ideas)
Who is James Patrick?
First and foremost he is a loving husband and a caring father of two children. But James is also a serving police officer, a Twitter user and a blogger. A thinking member of our society who is prepared to comment on political and policing issues.
His original blog, The Police Debating Directive, was written almost in entirety on a mobile telephone, whilst commuting to and from work at all hours. It was hugely successful, starting on the 9th of April 2012 and finishing in October with over 41,000 hits. Until recently he’s been working on a new blog, Dangerous Ideas, which is “a blend of Orwellian, policing fiction and investigative journalism.” More information can be found at jamesjpatrick.blogspot.com.
His first book, The Rest is Silence, was the culmination of the Police Debating Directive blogs, “peeling away the layers of what lies behind police reform” in the UK; a work uncovering potential scandals along the way like the G4S policing scandal, the influence of think tanks, lobbyists and much more.
James is a big believer in doing the right thing but now, despite still holding that belief, he has effectively been ‘silenced’ by his employer and unable to blog or tweet for fear of losing his job. But unlike James, I and many others have no need to worry about raising these important issues in public forum, or fear for our jobs.
All those who blog and comment on social media platforms about policing, in an open and free speaking society, must continue to do so. If not for the public and for their service, then in support of individuals like James Patrick.
- Social Media: The PC James Patrick case #PFTP (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- Police whistleblower faces inquiry after raising reform concerns online (guardian.co.uk)
- Met silences whistleblower who voiced concerns over harmful reforms (thetimes.co.uk)