Monday, 25 July 2011

Coppers In The Change

Around the media and web today there is discussion about whether it would improve the Police to have former senior Army officers brought in for higher ranks because of the nature of their training and experience.

The Army these days has had a large role in providing what amounts to armed policing in various areas of the world as well as combat action. Also, amongst the reasons are that the Army has become expert in modern management techniques.

I regard modern management theory and the way it has been taken from industry and high finance and applied across the board to human activities and services as the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse.

A good deal of the debate assumes that for the most part the Army and Police are distinct services with differing ethos, characteristics and functions.

How we forget. Once there were quite opposite ideas and former senior Army officers were often to be found being recruited to the posts of Chief or Deputy in many police services. Or in larger forces at third or fourth tier level.

In the past a lot of police forces were in much smaller local authorities and of limited size. Few of their policemen had much experience other than on the beat and on a basic level. However many of them did have service experience and it was seen as an advantage for them to have a good service record in the Army.

The photograph above is from 1948 and look at the medal ribbons. Some of them had served in the First World War and others in the Second. They knew what they were about and their immediate community. In fact they knew everyone.

I know because I knew them. The community in question was virtually crime free apart from the odd drunks who were shown little mercy. Also, there were no stray dogs.

Quite why I leave for you to work out.

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