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The right to bare arms

12 Jul

“The police are the public and the public are the police …”

                                                                                                             Sir Robert Peel

In this country, well in Hull anyway, the sight of armed police patrolling the streets was until recently thankfully extremely rare. We don’t much want guns on show in public for obvious reasons. The Humberside force does hold the record for the highest use of tasers in the UK but that is another matter. After the Manchester attack in May this year, however, Humberside Police have been keen to show they are protecting the public with little displays of force like this in Queen Victoria square. I’m not quite sure what good they think are doing by standing around armed to the teeth like this. I’ve seen pictures in the paper of them posing with children and tourists in a blatant PR blitz. I suppose they get the chance to chew the cud with colleagues, stretch their legs and get some welcome sunshine on their arms. I have to say I didn’t feel very protected but then I didn’t feel very threatened either.

The moving plod plods; and, having plodded, plods on.

22 Dec

In the  glad confident years of the end of the last century Humberside Police spent well if not too wisely and opened little stations at various places throughout the town and outer regions. One such was this in Pearson Park, next door to the mosque since you ask. There was another built on Beverley Road not four hundred yards from this… Total waste of money. Although it was a station it never seemed to have anyone in it and the couple of times I needed to contact the old Bill I had to use a phone installed in the doorway which put me through to some distant operator who took a message and promised to “see to my query” (meaning get lost and don’t bother us we’re having our tea break). 
Well you probably know where this is heading … 2008, the political choice to impose austerity and so on meant that Humberside Police had to close these places in the name of efficiency (an admission if one were needed that these places weren’t an efficient use of resources) and they also rashly sacked hundreds of officers. I must just mention in passing that Hull now has the highest burglary rate outside of London (hoorah!) … maybe it’s unconnected and really due to all that culture, who can say?.
So, anyhow,  if you want a big Victorian villa in Pearson Park with nice quiet neighbours apply to the Humberside Police…

Police Station For Sale

6 Apr
Having put all their eggs in one basket by moving to Clough Road, Humberside Police now find themselves with surplus empty police stations. One in East Hull went for £300,000 just the other week and this one on Queen’s Gardens is also up for grabs. The council had an idea of joining the sale of the station with redevelopment of the multi storey car park behind. A bigger site would attract a higher premium being their thought (for once it’s not a bad idea). Now you’d think public services like the police and the council could at least get along well enough to come to some mutually beneficial arrangement. But, as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside plod is of one political persuasion and the council is run by a different party, no agreement has been reached between the two idiotic parties over the future of this place. The PCC is also up for re-election next month so probably wants to get some Brownie points for independence though during his tenure the force has seen the highest burglary rates and been declared ‘inadequate’ by those who declare these things. He’s not all heartless bureaucrat though, recognising that the place will attract vandals and so be unappealing during the year of culture he has promised to have the place demolished if it’s not sold by then; leaving an empty brick filled demo site instead to greet visitors to Queen’s Gardens. As I say, a thoughtful sort of guy.

Laura Norder

22 Jul

With crime rising in Humberside for the first time in ten years and the police aiming to make £30 million savings over the next few years with the loss of 800 jobs it is, perhaps, little wonder that public confidence in Humberside Police is the lowest in the country. You may think there are five police officers in this picture but in fact there is only one. Police community support officers dress like coppers and stroll around like coppers but no-one takes ’em seriously.