Looks like the end of the world…


“sore back! sore feet! a ragtag army and we’re sick in the heat. we’re not pretty and we’re not rich, we’re gonna have to fucking work for it. it’s our life! we do what we choose! black jeans. black shirt. black shoes. mom and dad still don’t approve.”

Not sure Modern Life is War meant to be writing about ‘the job’ but it just fits too well.

Tragic deaths with police presence.

The reaction to the latest incident in the U.K. involving the death of a young black man having had contact with police is troubling me.

There appears to be two sides to this. One is an apathy apparent from one half of the population (unacceptable) and the other is what I see as potentially misguided anger.

I only know what the media are choosing to tell us but from those details alone it strikes me as not as simple as a story more common in the US which is ‘young black male killed by white police’.

Attacking police because a man died having attempted to swallow (what is highly likely to be) evidence of an offence while being chased by police doesn’t make any sense. I cannot comment on the actions of officers involved and that is a variable that should I know more might change views on this specific situation.

It is unfortunate and catastrophically sad that this human has died but possibly sadder is the way that generations now of young males see that organised criminal activity is the only way to live their valuable lives and that at various points along the way, (charting pivotal historical and policy points would be long) it is our society which has created this cage continuously ensnaring young men.

Crimes like dealing drugs (comparatively lucrative to these young men in the face of some of their other options) also carry a severe enough penalty (at least 3 years inside) that it’s worth it to these young men to fight police and to run and to risk swallowing dangerous objects in order to evade police or the judicial system.

If someone has done nothing wrong they should do exactly as the police in the UK say when being stopped or in some way apprehended. The fact is unless an individual gives them reason to they should not use undue force and if they were to when you have been proven innocent and they’ve been proven wrong they will be held fully accountable for their actions and their information they must have acted on. This is where a lot people don’t see the key differences between US law around police and U.K law. We ARE accountable and the anger directed at U.K. Police sometimes is based on events in the US. Having complied with initial fast time requests of police (e.g. Stop, show me your hands) if they want to they should say absolutely nothing to police. It is their right and sometimes the smartest thing.

I suppose one of my concerns about the activity from those who are enraged by this latest incident is that it seems to be used as an excuse to relight the flame and to riot. (Another time I might rant about riots and how as well as a just and deserving cause voiced by usually unheard people, they also drag in all the other disaffected young men and women who do things like go to hardcore gigs because they like to punch people with no repercussions but don’t actually like the music and greedy people who want to make the most of the situation and loot).

Black lives matter. But this movement shouldn’t need an ill-fitting example as an excuse to make a stand and protest. This specific incident doesn’t strike me as one to start riots about and it shouldn’t be against the police this time. The fight needs to be taken to policy makers and government. It needs to reach further than a molotov thrown at police ever could.

I know there are some bad police. And I know there are some bad people. I know not all criminals are bad people. I know not all people police have suspicions about are criminals.

I will always try to deal with a situation with the wider community relationship with police in mind. The tension in this relationship is one of the reasons an austerity based conservative government concerns me. Less officers mean a changing dynamic and one which limits any ability to keep peace by policing by consent.

Cuts and their consequences

“I think one of the issues that we’re most concerned about following on from those cuts has been an increase in crime that we’ve seen in England and Wales since 2012/13. And this is something which the government has sought to avoid, but we think there is a connection, there’s an analysis, [on] what the public will be doing in relation to these figures. And some of those figures are truly, truly shocking.
Since 2012/13, there’s been a 29% increase in possession of weapons. This is police-recorded crime. These are the crimes that the police themselves through rigorous process have deemed to be crimes. A 29% increase in possession of weapons. A 65% increase in violence against the person. A 38% increase in assault with injury. Sexual offences are up 97%. And public order offences are up 54%.
Now, if those figures weren’t shocking enough, this government, which has claimed repeatedly, and also claimed in its Conservative Party manifesto, that crime is falling. But nothing could actually be further from the truth. The government relies on the crime survey for England and Wales, which is an opinion poll, which disregards homicide; it disregards sexual offences; it disregards crimes against business. It is a very very small proportion of overall crime.
So the government relies on those figures to tell the electorate that crime is falling. Whereas recorded crime figures tell exactly the opposite story.
Now I’ll return to the issue of policing cuts, and the effect that’s had on our members’ ability to police the work places, and the places that they are overseeing. And I think the most worrying aspect of that is if you look at the 37% – 38% decline in PCSOs [police community support officers], they now say they are no longer able to gather that important intelligence on a day-to-day basis about criminal, and potentially terrorist activity, in the communities that they are policing.”

Ben Priestley 


There’s a lot going on with crime stats. It’s important to see them in relation to the fact that sometimes recording standards change, however this increase is across the board, and it’s concerning. 
Why do the government use the BCS (British crime survey-which excludes murder and other offences due to the fact that victims of murder cannot complete the survey) to inform them when it has access to Home Office stats which aren’t opinions of the public but crimes recorded by police? 

Opinion polls will be affected by that individual’s knowledge of criminal offences and also affected by their faith in police in this country when police have been wholly undermined by the conservative government and they’re seeing that crime has increased. 
Why are Tory’s lying about this? 
In every area of policing, numbers matter. Crime stats, budgets and most importantly, boots on the ground. If there was line drawn between you and another who wants to hurt you in some way, financially, physically, psychologically, don’t you want that line to be pretty fucking broad? To protect you, to protect each other and to gather more information to prevent abhorrent acts being comitted against innocent people. 
Video is here: https://mobile.twitter.com/EL4JC/status/871699549043265536/video/1