This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The political power of images and stories

As we enter the last few weeks of the PCC campaign, things are hotting up. The debate about who can claim credit for improvements in Thames Valley Police's performance is kicking into gear. I am not sure yet, but we could be seeing some (shall we say) creative use of statistics and a bit of history rewriting.

Please watch this space: some documents are coming into my hands which suggests a different version of the past than one candidate would have you believe...  I will keep you informed.

Meanwhile there has been a minor skirmish this morning over a picture that was attached to this story in GetReading: "Politics must be kept out of policing" says independent candidate Khan Juna. The article now shows a smiling picture of Mr Juna.

However a few hours ago, it showed a picture of Mr Juna and the Chief Constable. (Below is a clip from a Google search and you can see the picture I am referring to. If you click on that picture link you get back to the story above...)

Now it is likely that the newspaper applied the picture not Mr Juna himself. All I know is that an eagle eyed member of the public spotted it and wondered if all the candidates would be able to have their picture with the Chief Constable as well... Who contacted the paper to make sure the picture was changed?

As we know, images can be profoundly political. So I look forward to seeing the pictures that will accompany Mr Juna's campaign, and for all the others. We have already had some controversy over this when the Police Authority requested that a picture of one of its members was removed from the Labour candidates website.

And I really do think it is about time that both Anthony Stansfeld and Khan Juna resigned from the police authority. While they remain, it is not a level playing field. 

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