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Reinstate the idea of police as public servants

Comment 1st July 2010

By very definition, the police are servants of the public. They are here to protect, serve and aid members of the public when in need.

So if you ever have a society where people fear the police and their powers, then something is wrong. If anything it should be the other way around.

I would propose that it be easier for victims of police abuse to prosecute individual members of the police force who break the law and harass members of the public. Be it by the misappropriation of terror laws to perform illegal stop-and-searches, or harassing photographers because they worry about being accountable.

I would also reinforce the right of civilians to physically resist and defend themselves against illegal detention or searches, and of other civilians to assist in such as situation.

Why does this matter?

If a member of the public is harassed by the police, there is very little effective recourse. Policy changes may be made but an individual offending officer is unlikely to be reprimanded for abusing police powers.

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