Column: Chief constable’s ‘Thought for the day’

Leicestershire Police chief constable Simon Cole EMN-150311-132732001
Leicestershire Police chief constable Simon Cole EMN-150311-132732001
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“The other day I followed a farrier’s van down Soar Valley way out of the city and into the county. The business of shoeing horses still continues.

It brought to mind one of my favourite quotes about policing. It was said by one of my illustrious predecessors, the late Sir Robert Mark. He said “the police are the anvil on which society beats out the problems and abrasions of social inequality, racial prejudice, weak laws and ineffective legislation”. He said that in the mid-1970s; it’s over forty years old.

It made me start to wonder what the modern version is?

As I look at my daily briefing it now features regular cyber sextortion cases. There is a significant volume of computer-based crime reported via Action Fraud. Over the past few days I have had officers injured in a children’s home and in dealing with someone who was mentally ill.

We have been injured when not using a Taser on an individual offering violence as officer’s judgement was that they were suffering from excited delirium. We are dealing with incidents occurring on housing estates that were not built when Sir Robert Mark was Chief Constable here.

Our seemingly endless involvement in complex problems, where offenders are housed, the availability of drink and drugs rehab, how much resource to put into historic sexual abuse allegations and a sense that some systems are creaking as Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s population grows and grows because it is a good place to live and work.

It made me wonder that whereas Sir Robert Mark said the “police are the anvil on which society beats out the problems and abrasions” whether we should say the “police are the firewall with which society protects itself from the problems and abrasions of social injustice, population growth, hate crime, cyber proliferation and ineffective partnerships”.

So, please, today think how you can invest in that firewall.

That might be money, if you are in a position where you have some. It might be volunteering your time, it might just be saying ‘thank you’ or altering your behaviours so that you are not one of the reasons that we get called because as we all know from our own electronic world the more we truly invest in a firewall then the more protection we will all get from it.

Thank you.”