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back to article Preventive policing? Don't even think about it

Drinking in Aberdeen just got a whole lot more complicated, as police warned those popping out for a swift half that they may need to undergo drug testing before they are served. In Lancaster, police were last week setting up scanners near the central bus station to check passers-by for knives. Meanwhile, on Waterloo station, …

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Linux

Hope the money over here is cleaner than in the US

Hope the money over here is cleaner than in the US and Canada. I know I have used bills to pay for things after having partaken in some herbs. And I am just one person. Now I use that money to pay for service at say a petro station. The worker then goes to a pub and is denied access as he touched money I gave him.

Oh, my naysayers, not enough residue on my money to cause this. I won't be the only person going to that station who uses. Over time it will happen.

Let all bow as the Ivory Tower Knobkockies bring in the new Minority Report.

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Ash
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Easy to bypass

"Hello, Sir! Do you agree to a quick test for drugs before we serve you?"

*Walk out, say nothing*

When the pubs and clubs start losing business, they'll complain loud enough.

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Boffin

random

random: made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision

so that would be like every fifth passenger, wouldn't it?

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Boffin

Random?

"randomly searching every fifth person"

5,10,15,20,25,30,...

Doesn't seem very random to me.

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Unhappy

Yet another reason

That I don't feel like going into town, how many more Pubs will go to the wall because we are now considered guilty until proved innocent?

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And I thought it was getting bad here...

In the US, the only people who have this sort of power are the border patrol agents. Our Chief of Police wouldn't last two minutes with that sort of behavior.

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Boffin

Ah, random testing

Makes me remember a site in North London where they checked the boot of every 7th car going out. So you count cars and make sure that you are not a multiple of 7 from the one they pull out of line to check...

A number ceases to be random if it is picked randomly once, then used repeatedly. Similarly, a random check is not random if it can safely be avoided by manipulating your position in line...

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Unhappy

'....or they will thoroughly alienate Police and public.'

Oops too late.

I refuse therefore I am guilty.

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Stop

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

"The test is voluntary, but customers will be refused entry if they do not take part."

Then it's not exactly voluntary, is it? How can anyone say that and keep a straight face? For that matter, how can anyone say that without their head exploding?

I'm old enough to remember the Miners' Strike, the Poll Tax and the Criminal Justice Bill. I honestly can't believe this is the same country. What happened between then and now to turn us all into a bunch of spineless, gibbering idiots who will put up with anything without question?

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I agree with Ash

I would not enter a pub with screening, in fact these days with social networks it's easy enough to boycott such places.

"or they will thoroughly alienate Police and public" Oh that's been the case in London for years.

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so, what is this actually achieving?

if you're randomly conducting stop and search for weapons, then fair enough.

But the drugs dogs in train stations? Do they think that couriers really use public transport to ferry around large quatities of drugs?

Nah, didn't think so. They bust an extra 100 tokers a week and increase their 'drug bust' figures.

And testing people for drug use before going into a pub/club???? Fair enough, stop the guys punting illegal drugs getting in, but the drug that causes the anti social behaviour is sold legally inside.

FFS.

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Stop

Is there still some doubt?

Police State. We Has It.

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Call me cynical, but...

"In the end, these measures will either become an acceptable everyday part of British policing, or they will thoroughly alienate Police and public."

Or, of course, the ever popular: both.

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Anonymous Coward

Erm....

"In the end, these measures will either become an acceptable everyday part of British policing, or they will thoroughly alienate Police and public."

I could be wrong, but I'd have thought that the latter was well on the way. Between the longer-standing mistrust of the cops that would have arisen from the likes of the miners strikes, and more recent incidents like the whole de Menezes fiasco, I can't imagine anyone in their teens or even twenties would implicitly trust the police....

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Anonymous Coward

Grr...

Well, that's me angry off for the weekend...

As it happens, they have the passive drug dogs at Paddington too, not all the time, but offen enough. Strangely they've never bothered with me, maybe it's the suit that I wear not being near the clothes I smoke in and the smoking being in the garden. Also, I have developed a strategy for looking like I was supposed to be going in the other direction...

Having said that, a friend of mine got nabbed with about five quids worth of dope that was in a ruck sack he was carrying. The really stupid thing is that he'd totally forgotten he had it and would have smoked it if he had...

Anon, for obvious reasons...

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Pirate

@wtf

Because it achieves nothing sadly. We have lost pretty much all the mines/miners, we still have the poll tax cunningly reworded Council Tax, etc

It only stalls the inevitable. If the establishment want it in, it's in.

Don't worry, soon the race of mole-men shall arise from the core of the earth and rule over us, striking down the Governments all over the world, removing democracy and depotism as it assimilates the human race into slaves. It sickens me to think I'll be trapped doing the same thing day after day, 9-5:30, barely being able to afford to live.....oh wait...

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Every fifth person?

"we are currently randomly searching every fifth person."

So as long as you can count the number of people in front of you and do the basic maths involved then you can carry a chieftain tank past plod and he'll be none the wiser. He also has to have reasonable grounds to search you - I'm not sure if being fifth in line is quite what the law expects as reasonable but if that's what we're working with here you could refuse to be searched if you were say 3rd in line because the "reasonable" grounds the police officer is searching on is "every fifth person". Although refusing to be searched would then be deemed as reasonable suspicion and refusal to comply might get you shot 7 times (4 to the head).

Luckily for plod we've had a Labour Government for the last, omg, it seems like forever, 11 years or so, so the chances of any knife-wielding yoofs having the ability to count is remote.

I do think that security has been compromised by the police detailing their cunning plan. How are we to take this seriously?

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Flame

@ A.J. Stiles

What happened?

The passing of the Human Rights Bill into law that made us all THINK OF THE CHILDREN... Sorry... consider the rights of those criminals too...

It also helped all the PC Brigade bring in the changes...

Oh, and a spineless Nu-Labour government hasn't really helped too much...

AC... Cos of where I work!

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Civil Liberties?

Yet more erosion to our civil liberties. We're counting down to a facist state and I doubt that the time is numbered in decades anymore. More like years....

Orwell may not have gotten the date right, but he sure got the rest spot on.

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Boffin

@Jamie

"after having partaken in some herbs" ... "I use that money to pay for service at say a petrol station"

Surely not a good idea to be driving having "partaken in some herbs"?

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Stop

Fuck the po-lice

As an Aberdonian I find this extremely off-putting.

I shall be voting with my feet (by leaving) any pub that tries this one on me.

I'm getting sick of all the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' bullshit they use to try to force this upon us.

If they genuinely wanted to track down people with drugs in clubs in Aberdeen then there are a choice few establishments where i would start using real policing instead.

Maybe they just want to build up a nice DNA database and need this as an excuse to get a swab from you. Once you've been asked for for ID at the door they can put all the pieces together and bang you up for thought crime.

</Paranoid rant>

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Sheltered life or rose-tinted glasses

"Historically, police powers to stop and search have been limited to instances where there is reasonable suspicion that they might find something you shouldn't have on you: stolen goods, drugs, an offensive weapon, any article made or adapted for use in certain offences (for example a burglary or theft), knives, or items which could damage or destroy property."

This is an absolute bag of shite. The police have been stopping and searching anyone they don't like the look of for years - my experience of this began well over ten years ago.

I almost laughed out loud when I read the words "reasonable suspicion". All that means is that the police are required to say the words "I have reason to believe" before they search you. Then when you ask them what the reason is, they get all defensive or they get that smug grin which shows they think they've found someone with something to hide. They're always so disappointed when they can't find anything to arrest you for, it's like seeing a kid who's dropped his ice-cream at the beach.

Some of them seem to take it as a personal insult if you embarrass them by failing to be the criminal they labelled you as.

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Stop

Pardon?

Pardon me, but what? WTF? I'm sorry but this just put the UK way high on my "don't go unless unavoidable" list of countries.

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Searching Every 5th Person

This would take loads of police officers if the bus station is anything like where I live (A nondescript, provincial Northern town). Also, what if a bus full of old dears got off, would 1 one 5 of those get checked?

Generally speaking, if you behave yourself and keep out of trouble you wont get stabbed whether the bloke sitting next to you on the bus has a knife or not. It's not often someone gets stabbed for walking along a street (not to say it never happens, before anyone starts).

Does anyone know the answer to this: If I'm carrying my Leatherman penknife, engraved as a present for my 21st birthday, is that considered a weapon?

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Paris Hilton

@ AC

This Human Rights Act of which you speak. Are we reading the same text? Because the one I'm reading says that The Authorities are supposed to leave you alone unless they think you have committed a crime.

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Unhappy

@Moogal

Suppose said driver need the herbs TO drive?

Here's the thing about trying to avoid searches. Try avoiding them when they start showing up EVERYWHERE. It's hard to find a searchless pub when ALL the pubs have mandatory searches.

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@Scott

Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, a folding locking knife with a blade under three inches is legal to carry. Anything longer and you'll need to be able to prove you need it for your work (source: http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8233)

Every day I get more and more glad I fled the UK two years ago, taking my highly profitable, tax paying businesses with me.

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Anonymous Coward

@scott

"..Does anyone know the answer to this: If I'm carrying my Leatherman penknife, engraved as a present for my 21st birthday, is that considered a weapon?..."

Decide for yourself...

"It is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or good reason, to have with him in a public place, any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches." [CJA 1988 section 139(1)]

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That Leatherman question.....

As long as you can demonstrate a reasonable purpose for having it, then it is not classed as a weapon.

Ergo, if you are a cyclist, then you can carry your leatherman in case you need to adjust brakes, remove wheels, etc...

If you are a pedestrian with a technical job, backstage ones especially, then you're generally fine, I got stopped with my leatherman once and the copper asked why I had it. Ten seconds later I was on my way again having shown him the big black on black lettering on the back of my shirt that said "CREW".

If you're out for a day's hiking.. then you can carry it.

If you're going down the pub, and have no need of it, then you're probably breaking the law.

Clear, isnt it?

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Coat

Cut your bread with a penknife...

Hey, I went to the shops to buy some bread and bits so I can have a picnic.

It's for cutting the bread.

Yes, I do have to work at it. It's tough brown bread.

Mine's the one with spring-loaded 2.5" blades in the pocket, a' la Sword And the Sorcerer...

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Stop and search

Just as long as those searched remember to get their "record of stop/search" that the police are required to complete EVERY time they stop and/or search someone.

It takes ten minutes to complete. And more when it is raining/dark.

What paperwork do I get after a stop and a stop and search?

You should receive a written record of the stop or stop and search at the time of the event, which sets out the reason for the stop or stop and search. If you want to complain either about being stopped or searched or the way it was carried out, this record will help identify the circumstances.

Supervisors at the police station also keep a copy of this record. They use it to monitor the use of stop and stop and search powers and check for any inappropriate use. The police service must also make arrangements for community representatives to look at their stop and search records.

Police may use the record at a later date to contact you about anything that may have happened in that area around the time you were stopped.

You will normally be given a record at the time of the event. However, because of operational demands (public order situations, large public events of if an officers is called to an emergency) you may be told where to collect the record later. A record must be made available for up to 12 months. You can also be given a receipt rather than a full record as the time.

http://www.met.police.uk/stopandsearch/what_is.htm

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Unhappy

@Gareth 17:04

Yeah, I thought that as well, until I was arrested (and my DNA taken etc etc) for carrying a 1.5 inch folding penknife with a locking mechanism. Apparently the lock turns a perfectly legal penknife into a blunt 1.5-inch long weapon of mass destruction, or "NO, it's an ILLEGAL *LOCK* KNIFE" as the coppers said to me.

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It is tough all over

Got stopped a couple of weeks ago here in the states because my car had blown a lamp*.

*That's about as bad as it gets over here, sorry.

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Black Helicopters

Hah

I remember one year at Glastonbury.. before it became some bubble gum, teeny bopper TV show.. the police tried to use their drug sniffer tech to catch hash dealers.

Only problem was the tech was so sensitive it pretty much gave a 'positive' to anyone that had a blim or hot rock that dropped from the end of a herbal cigarette onto the car floor or ground into their clothes. Even the nasty stuff under finger nails was enough to set off the sirens.

So while they're spending so much time searching pretty much anyone with long hair for something long since smoked, the real dealers drove in unmolested.

The coke-on-bills guy talking about incriminating gas station attendants.. yes we have that here, and unless the tech has been significantly desensitized, it wouldn't take many customers to ruin the night of pretty much anyone that handles paper money in this country.

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Bronze badge

In related news ...

... sales of T-shirts printed with "I'm Number 4" are rising rapidly.

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Anonymous Coward

just say no

the whole thing depends on people behaving like sheep. if 2 in 10 people argue with them, the show grinds to a halt. then write to the chief cuntstable and complain that his guys need to get out and do some real work.

if you don't push back, you get what you deserve.

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Black Helicopters

"... *will* thoroughly alienate ..."?

Wrong tense. This member of the public has been thoroughly alienated by the state's activities for years now, and knows he's not the only one by a very long way.

Never mind "an approach to policing that is increasingly finding favour with police across the country.", how about "an approach to policing that has actually been debated and found desirable by the public"? Or "an approach to policing that for once doesn't actually stamp its jackboots all over the public's basic human rights"?

The UK is no longer fit for human habitation.

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@ Civil Liberties?

No we are not heading for a fascist state. Fascism tends to extol the virtues of nationalism and frequently ethnic purity. Ethnicity is not an issue with the powers that be in Britain and Nationalism ( whatever that actually is) has become a dirty word in the UK. What Britain is heading for is totalitarianism, of the worse kind, where we have what is an elected government of whatever colour that is convinced that we the electorate whilst being smart enough to vote them in , are too stupid to control our own lives sensibly and consequently need them to provide us with a never ending supply of restrictive, repressionist laws to protect us from ourselves.

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@A J Styles

From http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Yourrightsandresponsibilities/DG_4002951

"The rights are not absolute – governments have the power to limit or control them in times of severe need or emergency."

In other words, you have no rights. Something that may be taken away is called a privilege. Sorry to sound so melodramatic, but it's something that people don't seem to be able to grasp. A right is something innate, something that you have and cannot be taken away unless you voluntarily relinquish it. Anything that may be revoked without any action on your part is NOT a sodding right.

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Stop

Country Needs Sorting

We already are a police state, because we've already bent over and taken it up the shitter from this government.

I am 25, I've been screwed over by the CPS, I lost my driving license, which resulted in the loss of my job, which resulted in the loss of my home and friends, everything that mean't anything important to me on the following evidence: 20 year old male driver, had a crash.

Witness statements were not taken until after the CPS had contacted me to say they were prosecuting, despite being told by an Officer that "no further action was being taken".

I don't know a single person who trusts the police, even my parents see them as the "enemy", and that is now, image what it'll be like in 5-10 years time.

I remember civil wars from school, they seemed cool, they don't any more...

Something needs to be done before we get that far... because "you don't know what you've got til it's gone", and once our freedoms have gone, people will want them back, and the only way that will happen, is to fight for it, except in 5-10 years time, the cost maybe far worse than a few sheets of paper and an envelope...

... it maybe paid in blood (again).

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Bronze badge

Wow

So tell me when the are going to set up the road blacks with Concertina wire. Better have those national ID cards ready when the cops stop you. In fact better have your travel papers better.

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Anonymous Coward

If you've got nothing to hide...

If you're asked to do a test on the way into a pub and you're confident you'll pass then submit to the test then as soon as you are inside tell the landlord you'll be boycotting the establishment on principle and walk out. Should get the message across much quicker than just refusing.

Just make sure you've not been handling any notes, or sat next to a hippy on the bus, or... you get the idea.

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Anonymous Coward

@just say no

if 2 in 10 people argue with them, the show grinds to a halt.

Some how I see it going differently. I see those 2 getting shoved into a patty wagon. When it gets full ship them to the nearest jail and a empty patty wagon shows up. The cops now have shown the public ,you argue you go to jail. people will now comply or go to jail.

Now here is a twist . If they can do this to grown folks then why are they l not arresting little pukes that cause hell ?

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Voluntary Requirement

@blackworx: the random part is which part of your body they search.

"The test is voluntary, but customers will be refused entry if they do not take part. "

This is how to use capitalism to enforce totalitarianism. The actuality is that the test is a compulsory requirement of admission. You are being forced to choose only one of two rights which should not be mutually exclusive.

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Black Helicopters

Lancaster bus station

Er... what's to stop people from getting on and off at the first bus-stop out from the bus station, bypassing any of the police checks?

Just another act in the play set in the security theatre.

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Stop

So is anyone in the UK going to do anything about this?

Not to goad anyone but how far are you in the UK going to let this go? And people wonder why we Americans are willing to put up with gun crime in order to keep our guns.

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Pat

An improvement?

Wouldn't this be more useful - "randomly searching every fiLth person"?

I am number 4 and so is my wife.

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Pat
Coat

Quick note, small change

Briefly looked for BBC news articles regarding cocaine traces on pound notes.

From 1999: "More than 99% of the banknotes in circulation in London are tainted with cocaine, according to a study. "

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/464200.stm

From 2006: "Traces of cocaine can be found on 94% of euro banknotes circulating in Spain, a study has suggested."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6208877.stm

And from 2007: "Scientists in the Republic of Ireland have found traces of cocaine on all the banknotes they tested."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6250189.stm

Dear me, is the UK losing ground to our European rivals? Well we took the lead (2006 - UK is 'European cocaine capital') ...and held it (2008 - UK top of European cocaine league.)

Here are the links, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6177098.stm and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7714519.stm.

Mine's the coat with pockets full of small change.

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Stop

Proportional measures - where did it all go wrong..?

Right, so the fact that we have say 1 bad seed in a 100 (and the definition of "bad seed" being somewhat blurry, hence "reasonable suspicion" in police jargon) in the population, means that measures such as "random" stop'n searches are carried out in public (London tube/train stations being high risk areas for such) means that we can "randomly" criminalise, inconvenience and otherwise obstruct the remaining 99 currently law-abiding citizens and erode their rights as the years pass by in the name of Terrorism and Nu-Labour. No wonder the police isn't popular in anyone's books - it's ironic how the police, who are supposed to protect "the public", have gotten such a bad name for themselves - one would have thought they would be a welcome sight in your community, alas...

And with Wacky Jacqui (thanks Register, what a classic ;-) on the loose we can only expect things to get worse with (mobile/Internet) surveillance over and above the current CCTV camera regime (and loud speakers for a bit of one-way interaction such as "Hey, you there... police... STOP" - anyone ever been on a DLR station in London hearing these individuals'

utterances from the control room? What a joke..!)

I lived in London for 3 years and I'm glad to finally have gotten some sense into myself and get out - now I'm living on one of the British Isles, away from the madness, in a relaxed community where they're considering bringing in birching again against actual offenders. What a fresh breath compared to a Political Correctness regime gone wrong where law abiding citizens are penalised and stopped and searched - and real criminals are largely on the loose due to lack of prison services...

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Alien

..."will thoroughly alienate Police and public"

I grew up in Kent, where to have long hair was morally equivalent (70s) to being black; i.e. you were clearly some sort of latent deviant and ripe for a regular and thoroughly invasive collar fondling. Getting patted down, your pockets turned out and papers (address book, not Rizla) rifled and notes made was a regular thrice weekly or so ritual. As a result, me and my early twenties mates thought of the police as pigs, filth etc etc. The enemy.

I moved to London, but while I was no better or worse a citizen, I was no longer a target for wanton harrassment for no better reason than looking different - so was everyone else. Until the last few years I was never searched or hassled again, my only contact with the police came when reporting crime. As a result, my opinion of the police mellowed, and they tended to be referred to as coppers rather than thugs in uniform and given at least a grudging repect.

Now, twenty years on, it's no longer necessary to be black, long haired scruffily dressed or anything else to merit police suspicion - we're all suspects. Whatever shape, size, colour creed or religion we are all now seen as threats to public order or the will of government, potential terrorists, murderers, rapists or benefit fraudsters. We are pushed, channeled, searched, questioned, scanned, profiled, warned, fined and ASBOed for the slightest percieved offence. To object in any form is considered an offence in itself meriting further black marks. And every day they are turning up the heat.

So as a largely blameless, normally attired adult, I am once again beginning to think of the police (and government) in terms I had thought were long gone. The police once again are pigs, filth etc, and accorded the same lack of respect they mete out to myself and others. The chances of me reporting a crime witnessed are close to zero or of giving the benefit of the doubt when the pigs are found wanting in "terrorist" investigations. I feel little suprise when people fail to step forward after shootings/stabbings - could anyone trust the police to protect them? Mutual trust is long gone.

The very politicised police now appear to the public as little more than the enforcement wing of government policy, often at a trivial level. Their core function is distorted by a constant stream of targets and poorly considered headline grabbing "initiatives" that look great announced on the 10 o'clock news, but are little more than political sticking plaster punted by intellectual pigmies.

And the cycle stokes itself; the more we resist, disapprove and fail to co-operate, the more further invasion, suspicion and poor policy is justified as necessary by the Whitehall Puritans simply because we must be hiding something.

Twenty seven years on from the Brixton riots, I wonder how long this can go on before fuses start popping, and not necessarily in the places we've come to expect?

Alien, cos I feel like a stranger in a strange land

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