The latest Stephen Lawrence case has finished and his murderers are going to be sentenced shortly. Great, let’s get this over and done with and get it out of the news.
Still no National White Police Association?
It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that an accusation of racism when committing a crime automatically makes that crime worse than if it was committed against a white person. It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that the police have to consult “the community” if they want to do anything that specifically targets members of an ethnic minority – even if that something is a terrorist raid. It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that black police officers have special status and are fast-tracked for promotions to fill diversity quotas. It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that police are criticised for stop and search statistics that show them disproportionately targeting black people despite said statistics proving that black people commit a disproportionate number of crimes.
The two people who murdered Stephen Lawrence were wrong and committed the ultimate crime but why is there this fixation on it being racially motivated? So what if they killed him because he was black? If they’d killed him because he was short or because he had brown eyes then it would have just been a “normal” murder, their prejudice against short people or people with brown eyes wouldn’t have even been mentioned or if it was mentioned it would probably only be to prove that they were mentally ill. Murder is murder, it is the worst crime you can commit and it doesn’t matter whether your motivation is the victim’s colour, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality or any other prejudice – it’s just murder.
I’ve no doubt that racism existed in the police before the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and I have no doubt that it will continue to exist long after I’ve shuffled off the mortal coil. The Stephen Lawrence inquiry undoubtedly did some good in tackling it but it’s done a lot of harm as well. It’s put ethnic minorities on a pedestal where the law is concerned and the police spend an inordinate amount of time pandering to over-sensitive “community leaders”. The special treatment ethnic minorities get at the hands of the police does nothing to promote community cohesion, it just causes more racial tension.
The pair got minimum sentences of 15 years, 2 months and 14 years, 3 months. The judge sentencing them said that he was handing down long sentences because it was a racist crime despite the fact that they were supposed to be sentenced as if they were teenagers (which they were when the murder was committed) and under the guidelines in place at the time which didn’t impose extra punishments for racially-motivated crimes.
Thirteen years ago, before the Stephen Lawrence inquiry published its findings, everyone was equal before the law regardless of their race, colour or ethnicity. This is no longer the case and that isn’t a positive thing. If a crime is committed against me then it’s not right that the same crime committed against someone else with different colour skin to me is automatically considered worse and the perpetrator more severely punished if they did it because of the colour of that person’s skin.
The British government is graciously allowing the proles in England and Wales to vote for police commissioners.
We want the vote on the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty that we were promised and we get a vote on changing the voting system from one undemocratic system to another, marginally less undemocratic system. We want a vote on devolved government for England and we get a vote on who fills out the race and faith diversity forms in our local police force.
Electoral and constitutional reform is worth bugger all unless it actually makes a change to peoples’ lives (for the better of course) and it’s something people actually want.
This week West Mercia Police started a trial of new powers to allow them to temporarily ban domestic violence suspects from their homes.
On the face of it this seems perfectly acceptable – thousands of men and women have their lives destroyed by domestic violence and the consequences of their abuse stay with them for the rest of their lives – but try and detach yourself from the emotion of it and think about it again.
The powers are for the police to ban suspects from their homes. Suspects, not people who have been proven to be guilty of domestic abuse. The powers are intended to be used where there is (or is thought to be) insufficient evidence to secure a conviction. So not only are the powers to be used against people who haven’t been found guilty of committing a crime but they are to be used when there is a lack of evidence that any crime has been committed.
The constitution says that you can’t deprive someone of their liberty or property unless they’ve been convicted of a crime. The constitution is the law. For the police to require someone to forfeit their home – even temporarily – without the lawful judgement of the courts and before a jury if requested, is unconstitutional and illegal. To punish someone accused of a crime but not tried or convicted of it is unconstitutional and illegal.
Something clearly needs to be done to help people in abusive relationships escape from their abusers. It’s a hard thing to do – the victims are invariably broken down mentally and bullied into thinking they can’t or shouldn’t escape the abuse. You can’t pass a law to make victims of domestic abuse want to or feel able to escape their abuser but a big part of the problem is that there isn’t enough support for the victims if they do pluck up the courage to try and escape and it is this that has to be fixed.
Someone who has been subjected to domestic abuse is already in a fragile state without the soul destroying prospect of ending up in a hostel full of people with god knows what personal problems or a poky little flat with a couple of kids. The onus is on the victim to go to court and protect themselves, relying on someone who is probably scared to go out in public on their own to face their abuser in court and accuse them in person. ake it easier for people to get away from their abusers and make the temporary accommodation better. Don’t force victims to face their abusers and make the punishment fit the crime when they’re convicted. This is what needs changing, not giving the police permission to break the law and doing away with the presumption of innocence that has underpinned English law for centuries.
Yesterday I got a call from Mrs Sane who was out on the road asking me to phone the police for her and tell them that some clever person had lobbed a traffic cone off an island onto the dual carriageway below and that just after the cone was a broken down and the two were causing a danger.
I phoned West Mercia police and asked to be put through to the control room at Telford and they duly put me through to the communications centre in Worcester. I explained which dual carriageway it was (the A442) in Telford and which interchange had the problem.
“Would you say it was Shifnal to Telford or Shifnal to Bridgnorth?” Completely different bit of road, not a dual carriageway and miles away from where I said it was. I explained, yet again, where it was and that it was only a quarter of the way from the police station and that the local police will know exactly where I’m talking about.
“What’s nearby, so I can tell them?” Arrrrgh! I told him to trust me, just to put down what I had told him and the local police who, as I’d just mentioned, were only a quarter of a mile away, would know where I was talking about.
He finally accepted it and after a couple of minutes taking my home address and phone number and asking me if I wanted a reference number for the call I managed to get him off the phone. All in all it took me a good 10 minutes to report a dangerous obstruction on the main arterial route through a busy town at rush hour and all because it’s no longer possible to speak to your local police station thanks to pointless regionalisation of public services.