The other day I was driving round my local area of Adelaide when I noticed four youths sitting down on the pavement, a gap between each one, as police interrogated them for some reason. I thought it was curious; I thought it doubly curious when I returned ten minutes later and they were still there, still being interrogated by the local police. I would have thought that by then, the police station would have been more appropriate. But then the methods and means of the local police have always baffled me.
I wonder what accents the police officers had. The South Australian police have found it hard going to find suitable local candidates so they are looking to hire British police officers to meet the shortfall.
One thing that the British recruits might be surprised to find is that Australia does have a ‘class system’ and its most eloquent expression is in the way police treat members of the public. People who are clearly unemployed or blue collar factory workers, such as myself, will generally get a pretty raw deal in any dealings with the police and at the other end of the spectrum, members of the legal fraternity can claim special rights under the ‘Mates Act’, like this chap did.
On one level, this story is an interesting example of globalisation at work. An organisation with specialist HR needs can now search for people from around the world. On another level, it is a warning, not least to any Brazillians in raincoats in Adelaide, to exercise caution. SA police are armed at all times on duty, and the State is not your friend.