Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Musings on events

Like you, I have been glued to the coverage of the riots here in the UK these last few days.  Also, no doubt like you, I have been appalled by the plight of the innocent people who have either suffered physical injury or who have had their homes and/or livelihoods destroyed.  I can't offer any amazing social analysis (no surprises there, huh) but I do increasingly worry about the implications for the future when we have a society seemingly split between those who have opportunity and those who are seemingly left behind without the same opportunities.

Like everyone I know I am alarmed by what is proposed for policing in the UK.  I personally know lots of police workers through my work in the computer forensics industry.  Almost without exception they have a real passion for their work but over the last few years I genuinely don't recall one who is happy with the way the police force is progressing at this time.  I appreciate the necessity of public sector cuts but surely recent events have once again demonstrated the folly in cutting police numbers further?

Where I live in the sleepy coastal town of Brightlingsea in Essex (pictured) we actually have an unmanned police station and I genuinely don't think I have ever seen a police(wo)man in the town.  As someone who grew up with the local bobby being a regular face in the community and at my school I find this quite hard to accept - I like to see a police presence on the streets, even here in Brightlingsea.

From a recruitment point of view recent events haven't really affected our work (so far, anyway).  I am, however, reminded of the terrible events in July 2005 when terrorists bombed the London Underground.  That day, we had an ex-policeman on interview for a forensics role at Control Risks Group who were based very close to where the bomb on the bus was detonated.  He arrived maybe twenty minutes after the explosion and although unable to access the offices where the interview was due to take place he spent the rest of the day helping the Met police maintain order around the scene.  I have come to expect this hands-on attitude from people I know who work for the police service.   Incidentally, he returned a week later and was offered the job.

Moving to less important matters, sadly, my pessimism about the prospects of the Mighty Leeds United is proving well-founded after we were humiliated at Southampton on day one of the new season (thank you to the 4,000 people who texted me about the game - I appreciate it).   Still, as the song goes (if you don't know, trust me on this one), we have our 'ups and downs' but as every true Leeds supporter knows we only enjoy the ups so much as we spend most of our time 'enjoying' the downs....

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