Community Plods

The other day I swear I saw Herr Flic walking down the street. OK the leather coast had been replaced by orange hi-vis, but the sour unrelenting face and demeanour, the purposeful walk was the same. This was on Moorland Road, walking off down towards Hyde Park. I then swear down I saw him again on Campus.  Who was this strange fellow?

He was a Local Authority Enforcement Officer, or rather I am guessing two of them, but the uniform and face were of course indistinguishable.

These pseudo police, along with their brethren the PCSOs are the champions of community cohesion in Britain Today.

I become more and more concerned by this as time goes by. Zygmunt Bauman talks of community as The Agony of Tantalus, something so desired, but so out of reach. And my question here is about how the hell this can enforce community.

These fellows were issuing parking tickets. Now parking is something that kind of gets my goat, but one of these was placing them on about 2 cars in the otherwise empty resident’s parking on Moorland Road. The other, on Campus. OK the first, maybe fair enough. The second, although a public highway, should really be the Universty’s look out. But my main issue here is this for me just highlights a little over regulation. Where was he dealing with the blocking royal park road so the buses can’t get by; the cars permanently so close to junctions that their arse end is blocking the entire pavement?

It also amuses me that it is highlighted now that Police must trust the public more. Far be it from me to comment about whether police are “more concerned with the rights of perpetrators than victims” of course, but we have all these people aimed to promote “community” dressed up like the Gestapo, and probably as unpleasant. How is that going to promote trust. Or community? I fail to see.

Community, or “Social Capital” to use Labour’s buzzword cannot be enforced. “Respect” cannot be enforced. Yes the Police do need to trust the public more, listen more. Help people to look after their areas, collect their trash and they won’t tip it, make sure there are places to park that don’t cost a days wage and they won’t park where they shouldn’t and so on…