Friday, 10 April 2009

Is Britain becoming a Police state?

The death of Ian Tomlinson in the wake of last week's G20 summit must raise serious concerns about the nature of our police force. Amateur video footage shows him walking past a line of riot police, with his hands in his pockets, minding how own business. The footage then appears to show him being pushed to the ground with a baton by one of the police officers. The footage is sketchy, and it is still to be confirmed exactly what happened.

The Metropolitan police treated the demonstrators from the outset like criminals. Yes, there almost certainly were some trouble makers amongst the protesters, there always will be. The vast majority of the demonstrators however were peaceful and law abiding, and making their feelings felt about issues they felt strongly about.

The demonstrators were corralled into containment areas for several hours. Allegations have been made that some were overheard saying "Now for the fun" while donning their riot gear. One witness is reported to have been pushed against metal scaffolding and hit with truncheons. When he escaped, the officers were heard to shout "Do you want a piece of this, do you want some?"

This sounds more like a police state, than a democracy. These attitudes are very troubling indeed, and have no place in Britain. The police have lost sight of the fact that they are enforcers of the law, and think they are the law. Indeed, they seem to think they are above the law!

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched a criminal investigation into the death of Mr Ian Tomlinson, but that does not exactly fill me with any sense of hope. The IPCC are ineffectual at best, and collusive at worst. The police are given ever increasing powers, including the ability to arrest over a greater number of offences, including the dropping of litter. To prevent Britain turning into a Police state, the powers of the police need to be curtailed, and brought back into line with the duties they are sworn to serve.


  1. The scary thing is that under the latest anti-terror legislation taking a photo or video of a police officer whacking a member of the public, whether protester or not, could be construed to be a criminal offense.

  2. This is part of the problem. The police have far too much power, and far too much protection. The power is far too skewed, and needs to be addressed.