Our history defines our future

‘Reporting For Duty’ articulates the history of the West Midlands Police from 1974 to 1999 – the book contains up to ninety personal recollections and 200 images. It also focuses on the thirty police officers in the Force who lost their lives during this period including two officers who were murdered. A time of great social change which demanded changes within policing. A lot of my police service took place during this period and for all its flaws for the most part we survived and even prospered. The police service has a history of using mottos, sayings, acronym’s and ‘buzz words’ to convey its core messages. As I reflect on yet another spate of rioting in the news today I can’t help thinking that ‘back to basics’ might not be too complicated a plan. The police service are not to blame for society’s ills but somewhere along the line the gap between policing and the diverse communities it serves is widening. Community support and community intelligence are key factors in achieving community safety and for that ‘visibility’ is required – not in cars racing from incident to incident to achieve a performance target but in feet on the ground with officers engaged with individuals – both the supportive public and the hardened criminal. We have to remove the cloaks of anonymity that make it easier for those engaged in anti-social behavior to think that they can get away with it. We have to ask ourselves why an increasing minority have lost their fear of police officers and total lack of respect for the criminal justice system. This minority must not be allowed to win otherwise those that follow us will live in a poorer place where the ‘rule of law’ is just a meaningless phrase. It’s never too late and now is not the time for finding the excuses but for creating the solutions. ‘Reporting For Duty’ outlines a number of incidents that happened years ago just as they happen now but there is no absolute requirement for history to repeat itself. #wmp #police #history #onefamily #staysafe

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