UK police don't carry guns, are assaulted


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Robert Hairless
April 2, 2008, 02:25 AM
Neither the police nor ordinary citizens in the United Kingdom are allowed to carry guns for their own protection. Much to their surprise the police of South Wales are discovering that bad people try to hurt them and often succeed.

Note the last sentence of this article that just appeared in icWales (http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/03/22/shock-reveals-400-police-attacked-91466-20657464/): “It is the law of the jungle out there ...." The South Wales police want to address the problem with a simplified reporting system because the current system discourages reports by police officers who have been assaulted. The actual number of assaults on police is presumed to be much larger.

Shock reveals 400 police attacked
Mar 22 2008 by Abby Alford, South Wales Echo

ALMOST 400 police officers have been assaulted in the line of duty in just 18 months.

Officers suffered everything from human bites to broken bones as they tried to uphold law and order.

Yet the South Wales Police Federation – the body that represents 3,000 officers in the force up to the rank of chief inspector – believes that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Secretary Wayne Baker said mounting bureaucracy and higher tolerance levels among officers mean many attacks go unreported.

His view is backed up by frontline officer Pc Ricky Bennett, 30, who was once kicked unconscious by a 15-year-old he was trying to arrest.

He said while serious assaults, such as the one he experienced, are relatively rare, officers can suffer more minor assaults up to four times a month.

“The figure is not a true reflection of how dangerous our job is nowadays. Most of the assaults are not getting reported,” he said.

“When I was a child you had respect and fear for police. You wouldn’t dare step out of line. But these days people won’t think twice about doing what they need to do to get away.”

Figures released by South Wales Police under the Freedom of Information Act show that between April 1, 2006, and September 30, 2007 – the last month for which figures are available – a total of 395 police officers and special constables were assaulted. That equates to five a week or almost one a day.

The figure includes 23 bites from humans, 38 lacerations, 18 broken bones, 44 grazes/scratches and 69 cases of bruising.

But Mr Baker said the true figure is probably much higher – officers fail to report many assaults because they are simply too busy to fill in the four-page form required.

“All the feedback I am getting appears to suggest that because of the increasing bureaucracy facing officers, putting in the forms is a fairly low priority. It could well be that officers aren’t bothering for the more minor assaults.

“I am told statistically that postmen are 10 times more likely to be assaulted or at least put in danger. But the reason is they put in a form every time a dog barks at them.

“It’s not unusual for an officer to be butted or to have their nose broken. But they are just accepting it as part of their job.”

Pc Bennett, who lives in Merthyr and is based at Aberdare Police Station, was kicked unconscious by a youth wanted for criminal damage while around 20 other youngsters looked on.

He said: “I located him and he ran off and I caught up with him a short distance away, but it was in quite a secluded area, known as the Rock Grounds.

“There was a bit of a struggle and I grappled with him on the floor, while around 15 to 20 youths stood around watching. A short time later he kicked me in the face.

“I was a bit dazed after the first kick and before I could collect myself he took another run at me and kicked me in the face again.

“He fractured my nose and knocked out a front tooth and the second kick knocked me unconscious. The next thing I knew I was in the back of an ambulance.”

Despite his injuries Pc Bennett returned to work after his four scheduled days off.

The youth involved received 18 months’ detention and Pc Bennett said following another assault on a sergeant based in Aberdare around six months ago, he is now serving a three-year jail sentence.

Pc Bennett said while in the four years since the assault he has not experienced anything as bad, it is not uncommon for him to experience less-serious assaults three or four times a month.

“If somebody doesn’t want to be arrested, they will do what they can to stop it, so a punch, kick, butt or being spat at is quite common.

“We are provided with body armour, but regardless of what we have got on, people will still do it.

“That’s the way the culture is these days. Instead of respecting the police, the youngsters respect people like the boy who attacked me.

“He’s got one over on the police and now he’s a legend. His generation are scared of him.”

Mr Baker is now calling for the lengthy forms to be scrapped to make it easier for officers to report assaults and for courts to get tougher on those who attack officers.

“Why can’t a system be put in place that allows officers to say they have been attacked and list their injuries when they update the incident on the computer system?

“I really believe we also need to take a fundamental look at law and order. I would like to see tougher punishments for those who assault police officers.

“Years ago if somebody attacked a police officer they would go to jail.

“It is now, unfortunately, considered a day-to-day action which doesn’t necessarily attract a prison sentence.

“It should be deemed an entirely unacceptable and disgraceful act, but it isn’t.

“It is the law of the jungle out there and we have to assert our authority.”

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Irwin
April 2, 2008, 07:27 AM
Where in the article does it mention that if the police or citizens had the right to carry firearms would they be safer? Would you really find it acceptable for a police officer to shoot someone who was a little agressive? I think you will also find in the usa that police officers are assaulted on a day to day basis, it may be that alot of these assaults are from when someone has spat on them pushed them generally could just be very minor things that get reported. Do you really think they youth of today would suddenly give more respect to police officers if they carried guns? Irwin

mike101
April 2, 2008, 07:48 AM
"I think you will also find in the usa that police officers are assaulted on a day to day basis, it may be that alot of these assaults are from when someone has spat on them pushed them generally could just be very minor things that get reported. Do you really think they youth of today would suddenly give more respect to police officers if they carried guns? Irwin"

You're damned right they would, Irwin. I live near Philadelphia. If I spat on a Philly cop, or put my hands on him, I would expect a night-stick accross the side of my head, and a subsequent arrest, at least. If I threatened the officer with a weapon, I would expect to be shot.

I use Philly cops as an example, because they are notoriously serious. But the same thing goes for any town in this country, even the tiny little one-horse town I grew up in. You don't assault cops in the US, if you have all of your marbles. Period.

And I have no problem with that.

Irwin, I saw a graph from the British Home Office a couple of weeks ago. I will try to find the link. Regardless, the chart showed a sharp increase in violent crime in the UK, from 1997 when the gun ban went into effect, to the present. I also read that there is a movement among British law-makers that is advocating for the right of criminals to be protected from physical violence when they break into someone's home. Are they putting something in the water over there?

In England, they banned guns. Now they have had to ban pocket knives and swords. There is proposed legislation to ban larger cooking knives. Now, to thwart all of the security cameras all over cities like London, the miscreants have taken to wearing hooded garments. So of course, the Brits are now talking about banning hoods. What's next, eating utensils? Pointy sticks?

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/...-hood-for-good

Soon, they will be eating their kidney pie off of the floor, because the shards from broken dinner plates are deadly weapons.

doubleg
April 2, 2008, 08:46 AM
The first and only time I was arrested I was about 14 and was scared sh*tless. I remember it like it happened yesterday. I was standing behind a store with my buddies and there had been reports of people spraying graffiti in the area. So a police officer in a squad car pulls up and decides he has the right to search all of us for no reason with out charging us or calling our parents. I remember when he was putting the cuffs on me I was in shear panic. I thought about every possible way to escape. But before I could do anything stupid I noticed the Glock on his hip and I came back to reality. If that cop didn't have a gun I WOULD have tried to get away. BTW charges dropped, illegal search and seizure :neener:.

Robert Hairless
April 2, 2008, 08:56 AM
There's no need to be defensive, Irwin. The article is what it is, and so is my brief introduction to it. Not everyone in the United States knows that the police in the UK are unarmed. I think that information is necessary context to the article. You obviously don't think so. But I think so and it was I who posted the article.

You also don't seem to think that the number of such assaults on the South Wales police is unacceptably high or that it's a significant indicator of a very big problem. But they do, and so does the author of that article. You consider the problem to be relatively minor but for them it as a sign that orderly civilization has disintegrated and that “It is the law of the jungle out there ...."

Of course it's possible that your view is more reasonable than theirs, and that assaults on the police are routine bits of unpleasantness that have no special significance. But South Wales police officers don't think so, and neither does the author of that article, and they're especially disturbed that the number of these incidents have increased. No offense intended but as someone with no direct experience of the situation but possessed of a functioning mind I give more weight to people who presumably know something about the matter. I'll cast my lot with them.

You also don't think there's a connection between the disproportionate number of such incidents or their rise with the inability of the UK police to have the means to defend themselves against superior force. There you're obviously not alone. As you said, the article does not make that connection and neither do the police who made the statements quoted in it. You don't see a possible connection, nor can I see that they do either.

And perhaps there's the problem. You, and the police, and the writer of that article don't see what seems plain as the nose on your face to me. Like the police, you accept it as not an unusual part of the police officer's job "to be butted or to have their nose broken." What's a routine part of life in your frame of reference is appalling to me and not something I accept with your equanimity. The police don't share your stolid acceptance of their beatings of course, but I bet that's because it's their noses at risk and not yours, and yet you're all remarkably tolerant of such things.

Although you and--for the purposes of that article, and much more significantly--they don't see the connection I've made, it's not original with me. Law enforcement officers and other professionals on this side of the Atlantic Ocean do see that connection and can't understand what's wrong with you people to accept such situations. (I don't think they have you in mind specifically, Irwin, so please don't take it as a personal insult.)

In fact I was directed to that article by a message thread in the 10-8 Forum for people with a professional interest in these matters. The thread was begun by a Deputy Sheriff in the U.S. who entitled it "ARE THEY STILL NOT CARRYING FIREARMS????? (http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=65459&an=0&page=0#65459)" I think that the extreme capitalization and disbelief reflect the Deputy Sheriff's negative opinion of what you and the South Wales police and the article writer don't even see. Read that brief thread and you shouldn't have much difficulty seeing the contempt for that situation shared by other professional law enforcement officers such as a Detective Sergeant and a Department of Energy security officer. Me too by the way.

The opinion of John Farnham, a noted and very well respected instructor in the United States, seems to shed light on your position and that of your law enforcement establishment:

20 Mar 08

You can't have it both ways! From a UK newspaper:

"The number of armed police officers accidentally shooting themselves , and colleagues, has soared in the past five years. Now, nearly half of all injuries caused by police shootings are the result of officers blasting themselves or a colleague, often during bungled training and demonstrations... these disturbing statistics call into question competence and training "

Comment:

Do they ever!

As British police are, of necessity, increasingly armed, they are also increasingly embarrassed with the arrogant criticism they've so self-righteously leveled at American police over the years for being likewise armed. It seems the chickens have now come home to roost!

Unfortunately, as UK police surreptitiously acquire rifles and pistols, they' ve discovered that there is no one to provide them with competent training, since UK's once-proud Gun Culture, indeed their entire Warrior Culture, has been long-since suffocated by paranoid politicians who, like politicians everywhere, are frightened to death of armed citizens. The entire body ofmodern gun knowledge, that we take for granted in America, is unavailable to them. And, they are so apprehensive of it, and us, they're too frightened, proud, and ashamed to ask for "dangerous enlightenment." They aremuch more comfortable with "safe ignorance," even while shooting themselves with embarrassing frequency!

Newly-armed cops, who heretofore knew little about guns, have as "instructors " only irrelevant, ossified target shooters, who also know little about guns, nothing about fighting, and absolutely nothing about safe gun-handling, concealed-carry, and living with guns.

In addition, UK politicians don't trust cops any more than they trust citizens. So, there is precious little live-fire training, and "armed" cops are only armed when working. Continuous concealed carrying is reserved for only an "elite" few. The rest have little opportunity to become familiar with their guns. They only get to be afraid of them.

There will be no improvement in the UK any time soon, because there is no political benefit associated with gun-competence getting any better . Although newspapers consider this ND epidemic a "problem," politicians don't, so long as they personally are not endangered. A few injured officers and citizens are useful fodder for crocodile-tear speeches, but are otherwise of no real concern.

As always, nothing will change, until citizens demand it.

I think Mr. Farnham is implying that the empire has no clothes. If you're representative of the citizenry in the United Kingdom, the citizens won't demand a change because they're quite content with the situation as it is thank you.

Oh. No, I wouldn't "really find it acceptable for a police officer to shoot someone who was a little agressive" and I didn't say so and didn't suggest any such thing. Nor did I say that police officers in the United States are free from assaults. I didn't make such extreme and extremely foolish statements. But I can't see the situation described by P.C. Bennett as "a little agressive":

Pc Bennett, who lives in Merthyr and is based at Aberdare Police Station, was kicked unconscious by a youth wanted for criminal damage while around 20 other youngsters looked on.

He said: “I located him and he ran off and I caught up with him a short distance away, but it was in quite a secluded area, known as the Rock Grounds.

“There was a bit of a struggle and I grappled with him on the floor, while around 15 to 20 youths stood around watching. A short time later he kicked me in the face.

“I was a bit dazed after the first kick and before I could collect myself he took another run at me and kicked me in the face again.

“He fractured my nose and knocked out a front tooth and the second kick knocked me unconscious. The next thing I knew I was in the back of an ambulance.”

If that's what a Scotsman considers "a little aggressive" I wonder why anyone even cares that Macbeth hath murdered sleep.

Irwin
April 2, 2008, 10:19 AM
Robert I dont see 395 assaults in 1 year and 5 months exceptionally high essespially in an area the size of south wales. That boils down to 23 a month thats less than 1 a day, when you break it down into what actually happened ie in this whole period there was 23 bites , 18 broken bones and 28 laserations. So if we take these as the worst kinds of attacks thats 69 assaults out of 395 which were violent and that only breaks down to 4 a month so the figurs arnt as bad as they claim and most if not all will be accountable to drink or drugs.

You also don't think there's a connection between the disproportionate number of such incidents or their rise with the inability of the UK police to have the means to defend themselves against superior force. They do have the means they all carry battons or asps and also have been trained how to use them, unless they are up against being shot at every day then why should they carry guns? Why should the police be aloud to but not the ordinary citizens?

The police don't share your stolid acceptance of their beatings of course, but I bet that's because it's their noses at risk and not yours, and yet you're all remarkably tolerant of such things. Just because my nose isnt on the line doesnt mean that im not willing to take that risk if i wasnt joining the army I would have been joining the police, its just living over here and speaking to real police officers you can have a look at the situation diffrently, the police officers I know are very happy about not carring a gun and i wouldnt be to supprised if there is alot of police officers in south wales who would not like to be armed. What you have to take into account is that the attitude over hear to guns is vastly diffrent to over there its a case of apple and oranges to compair both our police forces its a diffrent political situation. Irwin


p.s Im not a scotsman Im British :D

Beagle-zebub
April 2, 2008, 10:26 AM
I second mike101's comments. American cops, for better or for worse, do not let people push them around physically in the least--I figure that a big reason for this is that they feel that their individual leniency would contribute to perps seeing all cops' thresholds for abuse as being higher, leading to more attacks. (An economist might think that's counterintuitive, but it makes certain sense given the line of work.) I suspect that the kind of people who self-select to become cops in America are a different breed, if not species, than their UK counterparts, in part because of a vast difference in the two countries' attitudes towards public service.

Focke-Wolf
April 2, 2008, 10:31 AM
British cops didn't carry guns even in the days when carry of guns were full well legal (pre 60s I believe). Although they could carry at their wish IIRC.

#shooter
April 2, 2008, 10:33 AM
Taser.

i am not sure if the UK allows it, but it is a great compliance tool that is sometimes use too much (traffic stops???) But is it the best non-lethal tool for defense against assaults (w/o a deadly weapon).

Focke-Wolf
April 2, 2008, 10:37 AM
They carry CS spray and a baton. To my knowledge, Tasers are only issued to Firearms response unit. I heard some non-FRU carrying them though.

doc2rn
April 2, 2008, 10:57 AM
C.S.S. Gun Free Zones
No Choice= No Chance

Cromlech
April 2, 2008, 11:03 AM
Not that this has any real worth in mentioning, I am willing to bet that a lot of those 'bites, lacerations, grazes, and scratches' are from rowdy and drunk women. Some of them are terrible.

Titan6
April 2, 2008, 11:09 AM
Do you really think they youth of today would suddenly give more respect to police officers if they carried guns?

The criminals will not respect, fear maybe. The non-criminal youth might respect the police more unless the people on Airstrip1 respect the police more for taking a whipping. (not sure what that says about the culture if so).

It is really a matter of degrees, with the results being the same. The murder rate per person in England and Wales has doubled since 1983 (25 years) and nearly tripled since 1970. For a society that has "lost it's warrior class" it sure is becoming more violent.

Maybe this is not so much an issue of losing a warrior class so much as that class has changed sides...

http://sasi.group.shef.ac.uk/publications/2005/shaw_tunstall_dorling_murder_corrected.pdf

Robert Hairless
April 2, 2008, 11:34 AM
I don't see 395 assaults as excessive either, Irwin, if none of them are on me. I'm truly an agreeable person and much more tolerant than anyone else seems to believe: since you don't seem to mind, it would be okay with me if you are the victim of all 395 assaults.

So we see things with remarkable similarity. As long as it's not our noses being broken and we aren't sent to the hospital by hoodlums, 395 assaults on the South Wales police are acceptable to both of us. In fact I am such a nice guy that it wouldn't bother me if all 3,000 members of that police force got their teeth kicked in several times a day. That wouldn't hurt. What would hurt very badly is if someone even stepped on one of my toes. Yours too I think. We're in agreement: what happens to us is important but what happens to them is part of their job and they need to stop their bellyaching. You and I together are shaking hands across the sea. Let the word go forth that we have begun world peace in our time.

The trouble is that the South Wales police federation just isn't as gracious as we are about their noses and ribs. This is their failing, of course, but I didn't chose them so it's not my fault. I am glad, though, that a lot of those police officers don't want to be armed. This is wonderful of them because every society needs to provide outlets for its aggressive, dangerous people and any police officer who would choose to be a punching bag over defending his own person as a matter of political, ethical, moral, or social choice I admire that officer greatly. In fact I would prefer to have the hell kicked out of such a wonderful person instead of awful me. It's better for the criminals too. They get to exercise themselves on a better class of person.

As you probably know, there also are many people in the U.S. who don't want to have the means of defense against overwhelmingly superior force. It might surprise you to know that I support them completely. They don't want to have firearms and I don't want them to have firearms either. I am adamantly and implacably opposed to forcing them to carry guns, and I don't think they should be forced to defend their own lives either. Or the lives of their children. What might surprise you even more is that I rather like having such people around. The U.S. and the U.K. are not so far different that we should abandon or discourage a class of easy victims. Where our ways part, however, is that I don't want to be in that class of easy victims and I rather like having my children alive. Think of it as one of my eccentricities. So I don't want to be forced into that class of easy victims. Really, my inclusion would lower its tone dramatically. I don't even see why they would want me among them.

I do "take into account is that the attitude over hear to guns is vastly diffrent to over there its a case of apple and oranges to compair both our police forces its a diffrent political situation," which is why I introduced the article as I did.

But then you picked on me for doing it, which is how we met. I can't seem to satisfy you, Irwin.

By the way, from my point-of-view what you call "over here" and "over there" are ass backwards. It's quite the opposite from where I am. That statement is both philosophical and geographical. :)

Irwin
April 2, 2008, 03:29 PM
Robert sorry if i appeared to have picked on you all I was doing was providing a counter arguement, if you dont like this then posting on a discussion forum is the wrong place, what good is a discussion if its one sided? You dont seem to have grasped what was writin in my posts, when you look at the assaults as a whole they look bad but then you have to take the results and look at each case induvidually then tell me how many times a police officer has been kicked unconscious by youths, probably not alot I bet you more doctors and nurses are assaulted on a friday and saturday night over the same period than the police that is a far more greater problem. Unfortunetly it wont be solved with firearms. Robert I can tell you this as a just about 18 yearold I would fear nor respect the police anymore than I allready do if they started carring guns and im a general well behaved youth, think about your not so well behaved ones. The only real foreseeableway i can think of which would slow down the amounts of assaults on police officers were to change political parties and to give back both the citizens and the police there rights. Irwin

woodybrighton
April 2, 2008, 04:43 PM
if you spend a lot of time dealing with drunk people your going to get smacked
occasionally:mad:
lethal force isn't really going to help in incidents like that
cs tasers and a baton will

Shadow1198
April 2, 2008, 06:30 PM
The police and officers are supposed to be a symbol and tool of ORDER. How do they maintain order? Ultimately with the threat of force. While this doesn't necessarily apply to every situation, every traffic stop, or what have you there is always the threat of force there with police in America. Please don't mistake what I'm saying, I have great respect for LEO's in this country (USA) and am not saying they always use force. I am simply saying, with all the "tools" on their duty belt, civilians here ALL have an unspoken understanding that if you act up, become hostile/belligerent then you will suffer some repercussions. Those repercussions include physical restraint, being smacked upside your head with a billy club/asp, mase/cs/pepper spray in the face, being tased, or as a last resort being shot and possibly killed. Let me say again, I am NOT implying that police here are always looking to use force, I am simply stating that they have options when the situation is warranted to use appropriate levels of force to subdue or restrain you. That doesn't always deter lunatics or sociopaths....or idiots. However, for the most part I would say a majority of people do NOT want to be punched or beat in the face with an asp. The majority of people do not want to feel like choking half to death while crying a river after being maced in the face. The majority of us will probably never know the feeling of and likely never want to experience the feeling of tens of thousands of volts rushing through your body via a taser. And, except for a select few crazy/suicidal/homicidal individuals I think almost ALL of us would really prefer not to be shot and killed. It is that basic logic for self preservation and knowing that the cop's will plain and simple beat/mase/tase/shoot your @ss if you get out of hand that causes a majority of sensical individual's and our society as a whole to give LEO's the respect they deserve............................................................................

This basic logic and lack of presence of these tools is no longer present in the UK, at least not in an effective manner. Citizens there obviously know it and generally seem to show quite a bit less respect to LEO's there accordingly. By the pure fact alone that criminals still obtain guns in the UK illegally, officers there should be armed accordingly. How can you expect the police force in a country to garner any respect when it's average officer could possibly get their @ss kicked by the average teenager with no fear. The UK needs a reverse vasectomy to gain it's balls back. With what has been happening over there, your officers and the police seem to have no respect from the population in general. Here in America our LEO's kick @ss and we respect them for it. ;)

Scanr
April 2, 2008, 06:53 PM
The last comments I made about England were a contributing factor in the thread just disappearing.

Intune
April 2, 2008, 07:03 PM
“Years ago if somebody attacked a police officer they would go to jail.

It should be deemed an entirely unacceptable and disgraceful act, but it isn’t.

It is the law of the jungle out there and we have to assert our authority.” Dang, one can "deem" all of the "un' & dis's" words they care to and they aren't going to avert violence.
"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time."

Aww, you got me copper, I surrender...

The law of the jungle clearly states in section .460; subsection Weatherby Magnum, that unless one is armed with deadly fangs, incredible claws, fleet of foot, poisonous toxins or tremendous size & strength, one should only venture out into said jungle with as much firepower as one "deems" sufficient! ;)

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