Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Police Blogging Debate

To continue on the police blogging debate.

Tom Reynolds, a London Ambulance Service (LAS) paramedic , who heartily blogs away without having to be secretive, and without the threat of identification (in fact, his employers are quite okay with his blogging) has a posting regarding Inspector Gadget- see here to see it in its proper context.

A reader of Reynold’s site, going by the name of “Rory F” (just scroll down until you see an enormous tome of a comment) posts a very good set of questions as to why the “authorities” clamp down on police bloggers.

Rory states that when he joined the police service, he knew whatever political leanings had to be kept to himself, as indeed we are specifically prohibited from joining any political party. However, policing is intensely political. Most old common law has now been replaced by law passed through parliament. Witness the controversy brought in with anti-social behaviour orders; terrorism legislation etc.

Therefore by expressing our opinions, and despite the small print on every police bloggers website that states that this is not a police website, I bet a whole load of money that Dave Copperfield wouldn’t have a hundreth of his visitors if he was “PlumbersBlog”. Not many people would bother listening to me if I was “Electrician Says” or Inspector Gadget was “Tax Inspector Gadget”.

What is about police blogs that make people want to read them? I know sometimes it’s the entertainment, sometimes its curiosity, sometimes looking for controversy.
Is it because that whatever we write is political whether we intend it or not…. is it because these blogs cause waves that sometimes capsize their own author?

Tell me: Why are you reading this?