Put Him in the Van, Nice and Gentle Now!

13 Feb

So I go running into a branch of a major supermarket that nationally isn’t doing that well and bump into Olly Martin the Police Crime Commissionaire chap who’s locally isn’t doing that well. It started off bad with a lacklustre 18.2 turn out for the concept of elected Police managers and then went downhill. Keen to know what he’s up to a conversation ensues. He’s trying to get support for an increase in the Police precept so he’s asking us to make up the shortfall for the money that the coalition have taken off his budget. In return he’s going to put an extra small army of new police people back into the community.

Karaoke Sing Along...with Olly Martins

Karaoke Sing Along…with Olly Martins

I asked him about confidence in Bedfordshire Police seeing as how of late they seem to be getting a reputation for their involvement in cases where black and Asian people have been assaulted, seriously injured and killed while in Police custody. The sort of thing that has in other locations led to mass protests on the street but not here. Julian Cole aged 21 was involved in an incident on Mill Street in Bedford and handed over to police officers by doormen, dragged unconscious to a police van and carted off to the cells, an ambulance was called and he was found to have suffered a broken neck and brain damage, this was two years back. Faruk Ali, an autistic man from Luton with a mental age of five was again involved in an incident with two officer who ended up being charged with and cleared of assault although both remain suspended. Leon Briggs died in police custody after being detained under the Mental Health Act. There’s a TV reality show filmed in Luton Police Station. I haven’t watched it. These cases are still trundling through various mind numbing stages of investigation and in a very valid point Mr Martin stated that the police can turn arrests to convictions in around nine months but not the IPCC  system. Olly was I’ll admit a consummate professional giving answers that he had clearly used or rehearsed before and he appeared not to hear when I said the best way to keep violence towards ethnic people with mental conditions down was to reduce the number of police on the streets. OK it’s sarcasm at its worst but with an element of truth.

I recalled the good old days of community policing and what we have now is helicopters, flashing lights and action car chases that turn up on Channel 47. Olly seemed puzzled when I said I wasn’t prepared to pay more for a return to the good old days, as far as I’m concerned I’m paying enough already. I think he was relieved when I had to leave but after about 15 minutes of his time (which I’ve contributed to wage wise) I felt justified. Various officers have been suspended for misconduct however by coincidence the family of Julian Cole (pictured) have called on Chief Constable Collete Paul to suspend those involved in the incident that has clearly had a devastating impact on Julian and his family.

Julian Coles and Family

Julian Coles and Family

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