Did anyone hear the Garda Commissioner on the radio yesterday morning?
Well? What did you think of Fachtna Murphy’s performance?
I found it dispiriting, in a time when we were never more in need of a professional police force, to hear their leader mouthing pre-digested platitudes, as if that sort of pompous old nonsense still impresses us.
What struck me most of all was the poverty of his imagination.
I don’t care how good their detection rate is. I don’t care how many murders they solved. It makes no difference to me how many people they caught after the fact. Why can’t he figure that out?
I don’t care.
So they catch my murderer? What good is that to me after I get a bullet in the head? What use is it to all the victims of crime if Fachtna Murphy’s boys and girls found out who did it?
I don’t care who did it. I don’t want it to happen in the first place, and when I heard Murphy going on with all this pious old shit I realised we’re in the wrong hands.
This is just another sad old Irish cop who fails to understand that reactive policing isn’t good enough.
We don’t want detection. We want protection.
Did you ever hear such an out-of-touch old dinosaur trying to spin the failures of his management in a positive light? Oh, wait a minute — did I say management? Did I somehow contrive to use the word management for a police force that thinks raiding pubs will solve the country’s crime problems?
You probably don’t know what I mean, so I suppose I should tell you. Did you know that one of the central tenets of received wisdom within our police force is the following gem: control the bars and you control public order offences.
Now, the fact that this belief is entirely unsupported by empirical evidence doesn’t deter these geniuses from continuing to believe it. Indeed not, and why would it? After all, these old crusties who run our police force are cut from the same cloth as the venerable Fachtna Murphy. Authoritarian, old-fashioned policemen from the DeValera age, who have all, without exception, failed to make the transition to the 21st century.
We do not have a modern police force in this country. Let’s be clear about that. We don’t have a police force in touch with technology, or strategic thinking, or professional management techniques.
What’s worse, we don’t have a police force in touch with the middle ground: you and me. Our police force is far more comfortable alienating your support and mine by petty bullying, by raiding pubs, by being obnoxious to the middle-ground people like you and me, by swaggering around on a contemptible power trip, when it should be confronting real criminals. Instead, our semi-detached police force thinks that people like you and me are the threat, and treats us as such, while psychotic, demented families have the freedom to do as they please.
Because our police force wants an easy life and finds itself far more comfortable bullying people who won’t fight back. People like you and me.
The people who pay their wages.
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