Notepad on Life

December 21, 2016

Cop this plea – there’s no degree in ‘streetwise’

Filed under: crime,Education,Law and order — - @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Pic courtesy of Police-Mad-Liam

It’s hard to pick highlights in Peter Hitchens’ latest excellent Mail on Sunday column, but vested family interest leads me to the last item, on the misguided plan to make university degrees mandatory for would-be police officers.

“Graduates spend the first ten years in any job discovering that they don’t, in fact, know everything, while the non-graduates roll their eyes in despair,” writes Hitchens. 

“What police officers need is not a certificate, but the common sense that comes from years of friendly contact with the people they serve.”

I shudder to think how many potentially excellent policemen and women will now never materialise because of the fashionable yet flawed belief that only higher education can unlock a young person’s potential. What a slap in the face for those myriad ‘failures’  who left school with nothing, only to become rip-roaring successes once they were set free to engage a world beyond Academia.

It’s just not everyone’s bag, the life of dissertations and doctorates. There are people whose talents lie in their hands, in hand-eye co-ordination, or in tackling real problems instead of the more abstract variety. If that means three years in the University of Life then they should be allowed to get on with it, not erroneously pigeon-holed just to keep the quota brigade happy.

We don’t need spectacular double-firsts from our police. We need street-savvy, impeccable people skills and an air of mild intimidation that can, when warranted, be fully backed up by the judicious use of brawn. And you don’t learn those qualities over cappuccino in some junior common room.

As for how the whole thing might yet backfire on those who dreamt it up, meanwhile, just Google ‘university’ and ‘snowflakes’, and brace yourself for the day when our boys in blue ask if they can sit this particular riot out because they’ve been ‘triggered’.



March 31, 2010

Police your own back yard, CBI

Filed under: business,Law and order — - @ 8:02 am
Tags: , ,
The floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Image via Wikipedia

There is something vaguely serf-and-master about the Confederation of British Industry sticking its nose into the public sector by suggesting a pay freeze for police officers.

While someone will always have to decide what represents reasonable remuneration for men and women who put their life on the line every time they don uniform, my nose wrinkles somewhat when I hear such a call being made by an organisation whose closest brush with danger comes whenever it handles a stapler.

If the CBI wants to get involved with cops and robbers, it should stick to those delinquents in the City, whose own version of criminal damage we’re all paying the price for and whose complete lack of contrition can be gauged from Monday’s City AM report on how London may be losing its edge as the world’s leading financial centre.

Those at Profit Central, apparently, are wailing at increased regulation of the way they do business. You probably won’t be surprised to learn who’s moaning the most…

“Concern about the legislative burden is at an all-time high in the industry with 74 per cent of firms seeing regulation as a constraint on business over the next 12 months. Among banks this figure rose to 90 per cent and among security traders to no less than 87 per cent.”


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March 2, 2010

Pompous Twerps of the Week award – we have a tie

transparent version of :Image:Olympic flag.
Image via Wikipedia

For a minute there, I thought Grampian police might have the stage to themselves.

Some Scottish sportswear retailer decides to put ‘Anyone but England’ World Cup shirts in his window and the next thing he knows, he’s got cops dropping by for a quiet word about offending racial sensitivities.

Things must be really quiet on the law enforcement front north of the border. Murders nil, rapes nil, drug traffickers nil – oh well, racism nit-picking it is then.

And remember the name Kirk Hemmings, PC in more ways than one. If he really is responsible for the following quote, then we’re looking at a nailed-on future chief constable:

“The Grampian area, in common with the rest of the country, has recorded incidents relating to nationality and we have a responsibility to do our best to ensure that incidents of this nature are kept to a minimum.

“The public expect no less of us.”

Have to love that last line. Nothing like a copper in tune with his public.

This just in, PC Hemmings: what the public do expect of you: a day so choc-a-bloc with making bad folks’ life a misery, you simply don’t have time for minutiae like this; a beat where hardened criminals quake at the very mention of the word ‘police’; a world where it’s the sheriff who rides around with the self-satisfied smile on his face, not the outlaws. You anywhere close to those targets yet?

Yes, the glory was so nearly yours and yours alone.

Then along came the International Olympic Committee.

Apparently Canada’s women did a terrible thing when they won gold for ice hockey. They came onto the ice afterwards brandishing champagne bottles, beer cans and cigars, in that irksome way people have when they’ve just registered one of the greatest days in their lives.

Now you’d think the IOC, like Scottish policemen, might have more pressing items on their agenda, given the Olympics’ perennial flirtation with the pharmaceutical industry and a history with more question marks against it than the Riddler‘s leotard.

But no, it seems we can’t have sportsmen letting their hair down a tad without rumblings – thankfully taken no further – of an IOC enquiry (and I’m not unsympathetic to one journalist’s suspicion that all this nonsense comes to down to some sexist dinosaur in a blazer).

Watching the scenes below, my own knee-jerk reaction was to think of Babe Ruth and Ian Botham. Baseball and cricket fans respectively won’t need me to remind them how those two ruined their sport for so many disappointed followers.

Thank goodness we can count on the true heroes at the IOC to remind us why we love games.

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