My colleagues and I are generally law abiding citizens past, present and in the vast majority of cases, future. Those whose behaviour transgresses even to an extent which could be described only as “inappropriate” risk removal from the magistracy. It could be argued that the strictures for us, the lowest level of the judiciary, are much more severe than for our senior colleagues. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for police. Perhaps there was a time when “Dixon of Dock Green” was a realistic portrayal in black and white and black and white was not just in the primitive T.V. quality of the 1950s but the basic standards border required of those in the uniform of that period. There was a defining line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Nowadays, perhaps, “Shades of Grey” might be a more apt description of some behaviour of those in the blue uniform. Indeed how many of us have not at some time been doubtful of the veracity of the evidence given under oath by a police officer?
There has been speculation over the last few days that the death of Princess Diana (and her companion) was no accident and conspiracy theorists are once again dusting off their doubts about the police report which concluded that indeed it was an accident which caused her death. The difference between 1997 and today is that since then there have been umpteen verified investigations into police corruption which we now seem to accept as a normal way of life for those entrusted with our daily security from the teenage drunk to the divinely inspired terrorist. None has so devalued the trust we place in the police service than the corruption revealed to have enveloped the investigation into Hillsborough. And this story of high level deceit and deception has reached a new nadir according to a report in the Independent where it is alleged that cash from a fund for the victims` families was to be set aside to provide benefits for the police force now known to have corrupted the investigation into its own failures.
With various scandals from Cleveland Constabulary to the Metropolitan Police Service (too many to list) via Greater Manchester Police and others who is to argue convincingly that everything known about the tragedy in Paris that evening has been revealed? That is the price we are paying for all the cover ups and corruption which were (are?) allowed to continue unchecked for decades.