One of my current top bloggers Richard North points to a new blog, Political Facts, where posting number one is about the Convenient Criminal. And since Richard North is now one of a lot of other people’s top bloggers also, that means that news of this new blog will spread fast, perhaps faster than its writer might have preferred.
The story its first posting tells if of how the British police, animated by the desire to meet targets rather than to mete out justice, have resorted to arresting the easiest persons to arrest, rather than the guiltiest. The guilty ones flee before the police arrive but the victims of the villainy stay, waiting for help and support, unpractised in the arts of obstructing the police. So they, or their angry sympathisers, get arrested, basically for being a bit angry about having been set upon by actual criminals.
Police arrive. One police officer tells the violent drunk, now a few yards away, to leave the area. The bleeding victim is helped to his feet and tries to point our his attacker but by now he has already left the scene as instructed by a police officer. Not good for the police who have attended an assault but now have no boxes to tick.
One girl tells the police they are useless and is arrested for a Section 5 Public Order Offence for screaming and swearing at the violent drunk as he assaulted the young man. A female bouncer from the nightclub who has witnessed this rushes across the street and tries to tell the police they have the wrong person. (Captured on CCTV) Police tell her to go away and proceed to issue a Fixed Penalty notice. Another Convenient Criminal without police having to take the time and effort of now trying to find and arrest the violent drunk. Effortlessly ticks all the boxes the officers need ticked for their performance targets while justice is thrown away.
But are that event and another similar one outside a pub real events, or were they merely, as they say in the movies, “based on fact”? Are these actual people, or merely composites. This first posting is strong on principle, not so strong on chapter and verse. A widespread set of prejudices about how the police now operate is eloquently laid out. But where are the actual reports of actual events, in local papers or in other blogs? At first glance, the posting looks to be full of links, but all that bold-and-in-colour stuff turns out merely to be bold-and-in-colour. It doesn’t lead anywhere.
But, as I say, it’s early days for this blog and with luck it soon will start to lead somewhere. More to the point those facts alluded to in the blog’s title may start gravitating towards it. After all, the blog’s readers now at least know the kind of facts being sought. The man can obviously write, and with luck, he will turn out to be well placed enough, near enough to the kind of dramas he now describes in a generalised way, soon to be deploying some serious facts and making some serious waves.