Monday, April 13, 2009


The G20 trial by media rumbles on.

Now this may well be an embarrassing fact for a police officer to admit but I don't mind reading the Guardian. I have even been known to actually part with my own money for it.

Well, probably not any more. Someone on their editorial team is so cock-a-hoop that someone sent them the Ian Tomlinson video that they've taken it on themselves to crusade against this tide of police brutality.

I normally read the Guardian because more often than not they seem to have a balanced reporting, and seem to at least acknowledge there are two sides to an issue. I was very interested in their magazine article about two polar opposite approaches on dealing with London's "disaffected" (insert your own adjective here) youth.

However, their G20 coverage, particularly last Saturday's edition which is the last one I looked at- is all about the police brutality. Rent-a-quote people are popping up everywhere saying how the police were sooo nasty and shouted at them and some people even got a baton.

Now don't get me wrong, if there are occasions when we step over the line then yes it needs to be investigated. But where in the Guardian is the acknowledgement of the issues we faced? The dangerous violent minority, who hospitalised officers (where are the pictures of slumped officers being carried away by colleagues? The officer- not in riot gear- who collected a some kind of pole round the head?) and then melted back into anonymity in the crowd?

I wasn't involved directly at the scene, I was effectively on standby off normal duties at my own nick in case we were called in. Very bored I was. On the Wednesday, I was watching the news in the evening with the wife, when the images came on of the crowd surging against the line of officers, helmets being knocked off heads, little digs and pokes going in.

She looked at me, knowing I was on standby for the next day, and although she wouldn't say anything, I knew she was worried.

Still, it isn't as newsworthy or as an interesting anti-police crusade to bother thinking about the personal aspect of this from the other side of the thin blue line. Hundreds of rent-a-quotes from the innocents but not even a token effort to consider things from the other side.

I suppose thats what prompted me into thinking perhaps I ought to get this blogging lark resurrected. I actually started writing this on Sunday but it has taken me till today to actually finish it because I have spent a barking amount of time at work this week, including the most spectacular waste of a day ever yesterday on Operation Completely Unnecssary Total Overkill, more of which another day.