We often refer to the phrase ‘football violence’ but of course I don’t think anyone has ever seen a football being violent. Nowadays people often refer to the fact that violent acts linked to football matches have largely disappeared. It is certainly true that this is no longer the 70s and 80s when, before the advent of CCTV and banning orders, organised gangs of hooligans were ever-present. My assertion however is that whilst the problem has decreased dramatically the very sizeable minority who like to get involved in violence are still around. Police tactics have changed over the years and policing priorities have changed as they try to meet changing demands with fewer officers, whilst at the same time the Government don’t identify it as an issue and media reports of incidents are fewer. My question is will the current rise in right-wing activity nurture more problems on the terraces, and on the railway networks.
and in town-centres as groups become better organised?
Factual accounts of policing in parts of Walsall between 1997 and 1999 – newspaper cuttings courtesy of the Express and Star.
A second year of crime-fighting
Clashes on and off the pitch in 1976 between two real teams – Birmingham City and Aston Villa and two fictitious hooligan teams battling for supremacy. The third team was the police – who were eventually crowned as champions ? The sequel to ‘Black Over Bill’s Mother’s’ brings back the character of Birmingham-based detective Rob Docker – not someone that you would like to meet under any circumstances and certainly someone you would never forget if you were on the wrong side of the law. (newspaper clips from the Evening Mail & Sunday Mercury).
Whenever we post this title there is a debate over who lays legitimate claim to the phrase. Our take is that Bill’s mother was the mother of William Shakespeare and that Brummies used to look towards Stratford Upon Avon and use the phrase to indicate that a storm was coming. If you like a ‘big’ book with a huge story-line that spans history over a fifty year period, more murders than you have fingers on your hands and eventually returns to Birmingham for the violent climax you will enjoy this. There are no winners in this book and no heroes. The book has 54 very positive reviews and some who have read it have commented on how they found themselves loving and hating the main characters at various stages. Not for the faint-hearted it deals with violence, terrorism and corruption but without being gratuitous. It would make for a great film very much in the context of the next generation of ‘Peaky Blinders’
An epic family saga covering seven decades
The last one in this little series for a while. Some of the previous blog posts have made reference to the challenges now faced by officers and the changes that have occurred in terms of numbers, culture, legislation, funding and all manner of things which have changed the policing landscape in the UK. What has NOT changed is the team spirit and close relationships which are developed in the service. There may be fewer to call on but when the shout ‘officer requires assistance’ goes up over the radio everyone goes and that’s the way I believe it will always be. Still a ‘noble cause’ to work within and arguably one of the best professions to be part of. (picture courtesy of Darren Allison)
Historically the three essential strands of policing in the UK have been education through engagement and education, prevention and enforcement. They remain so to this day. As a 24/7 emergency service however the one element of policing that has to be serviced is ‘response’ which inevitably means that with reducing numbers the time to carry out education/engagement functions becomes restricted. Less engagement with the community on the ‘softer’ side of policing leads to less community intelligence becoming available. By its very nature ‘response’ policing is generally reactive and demand led. Demand is increasing and therefore the opportunities for proactive targeted prevention patrols are decreased. With changes in legislation, and direction in relation to the use of enforcement powers what type of service are we heading towards. (Photo from unknown source on social media) Last post on this little series tomorrow.
Historically ‘private’ police forces have always been a feature of policing in the UK. Over the decades some have disappeared, whilst some have amalgamated with other Forces. (The picture is of Birmingham Parks Police circa 1980s). The ‘police family’ used to be quite a narrow expression which accurately described the work of warranted police officers. I would venture to suggest that the extended ‘policing family’ as well as encompassing police staff members, Special Constables and volunteers, now also arguably describes an environment whereby many ‘policing’ functions are also carried out by professionalized security companies. The days of so-called ‘man-guarding’ alone no longer accurately describe the immense range of services now on offer many of which support our policing effort.
The history of Malvern, RAF Defford, Pershore Airfield and The Cold War in Worcestershire
Just noticed that Amazon are offering this at an 8% discount. Don’t know for how long so if you are intending to buy, get in now