Jennifer Ubah

Correspondent (Europe)

 

LONDON — The Home Office has said that the culture of policing will improve. This topic of police culture has arisen after several years of controversial incidents displaying supposed unacceptable police behaviour. A Sunday Times Poll by YouGov has shown that less people trust the police than they did in August; 71% down to 66% trust the police. Now, independent parties will overlook police action for any wrongdoing. Policing Minister Damien Green said, “If police officers behave badly then it’s really serious for the police. But it’s a very small minority who behave badly. By and large the police do their job well.”

In August, the Metropolitan Police apologised to the family of Ian Tomlinson for his death in 2009 at the G20 protests in London where policemen used “excessive” force. Also, last year David Cameron apologised for a police cover-up about the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 where 96 people at a football match died during a stampede. The apology was made due to the police trying to blame fans for the disaster, whereas they held a lot responsibility as they failed to control the crowd better.

The ‘plebgate’ incident that occurred in September 2012 where ex-MP Andrew Mitchell was denied entry by police into Downing Street on his bike, has also sparked the thoughts about police culture as the event is being reviewed this month by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Apparently Mitchell called the Downing Street police “plebs” but he has denied this.

The government increased their resources for the IPCC and has been altering police recruitment to ensure that people with a different background from policing could still enter at a senior level. Green believes that “the fact that people will bring a new attitude and background will help the police service. It will open it up.” He also added, “It’s not just a question of following rules. It’s a question of having a culture of openness and transparency.”

Image Courtesy: Paul Townsend (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/8987567500/sizes/o/in/photostream/)

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