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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sepia policing: the Secret PCC hankers for the wild west

Ah, dear diary, as I was rearranging the model police cars on my desk before my annual leave, I caught the beginning of an episode of Alias Smith & Jones that ITV4 are currently showing. (Normally, of course, the TV in my office is tuned to BBC24 for breaking news about the world of crime busting and criminal justice developments!)

So I treated myself to a nostalgic story of how Hannibal Heyes & Kid Curry sailed close to the line of the law again. This got me to wondering, if we couldn't use some of the justice and sheriffing methods used in these stories to modern day policing.

So here are some of the ideas I am thinking of:
  • Police officers should wear their batons low on their hips in holsters, and we should organise quick on the draw competitions.
  • When people get into fights on the street, we should only arrest those who started the fight
  • We need to form intelligence networks with bar room floozies who clearly will know all that there is to know about what is going on in a town
  • We should believe people's stories and leave the lawyers out of the debates
  • We need more judges and magistrates who have the Wisdom of Solomon and leave them to make decisions that often bend the law but are the right decisions
  • Outlaws should be able to earn their amnesty by staying out of trouble
  • We need to reinstate the police mounted division
  • Boots and gloves look mighty fine and cool so they should become a standard part of police uniform
  • Could we use posses more?
Anyway, I will mull on these ideas as I sip my hard whisky cocktails on holiday, in between poker games... But what do you think: what elements of the old wild west can we incorporate into tackling today's policing challenges?


The Secret PCC Diary until now:

Legal disclaimer: just in case you thought this series of secret PCC blogs is based upon a real person or persons: it isn't. It really isn't. Any similarity to a living PCC is entirely coincidental.


PS: This blog is dedicated to the memory of Pete Duel who tragically committed suicide at the end of the first series of Alias Smith & Jones. His suicide was the first one that ever really mattered to me as boy and I still grieve for him. He seemed such a bright & beautiful actor and I could not understand how he came to end his own life. I have learnt more about mental health since then. I now know that there is no real 'logic' to why people do kill themselves, but sadly people do when it makes sense to them. RIP Pete Duel. 

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