Power Is Destructive Without Knowledge!
Take Sir Robert Peel's
Principles of Law Enforcement, 1829
Are They Relevant Today and Being Upheld?
If So, What Effect Is It Having On Our Lives?
By Nick Ashton, CEO/CTO, CommSmart Global Group
2014/2015, 2016, were a disaster in social compatibility in cities across the world. The Arab Spring to those protesting social economic divides, color, race, creed and the violent death of black men and women played a major role as well.
Law enforcement was the frontline, being asked to defend cities, people, and businesses. This brought the spotlight fairly and squarely on how we handle our own citizens in their now open social concerns.
Sir Robert Peel achieved far-reaching penal reform and established the Metropolitan Police Act (MPA) of 1829, which was instrumental in creating Great Britain’s Metropolitan Police Force.
Peel wrote what has become known as the Nine Peelian Principles of Law Enforcement. These principles fundamentally believed that “the police are the people, the people are the police, and crime prevention is possible without heavy intrusion into citizens’ lives”.
Precise concepts, such as issuing badge numbers to safeguard officer accountability and referring to qualitative happenstances with citizens, instead of counting the number of arrests, were concepts that came out of Peel’s community policing model. British officers instructed in the nine principles were deployed into urban areas and were referred to by the locals as Peelers or Bobbies, a name still in use today.
It was the first time a Human Resources format was introduced and continues in a similar format for businesses and corporations today.
In fact, it needs an overhaul of its own and H.R. requires today’s social change and formatting. It needs to be ZoooMeeefied into a more productive format.
We shall go through Peel’s Principles of 1829 one by one.
1. The basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment.
A statement which sadly has taken on a more military look than ever. When you first review the issues of today it seems that way. Times have changed and just like the statement “criminals have better fire power (guns), we have got to have the ability to fight like with like”.
The truth is society has changed and the “race card” is thrown in the faces of law enforcement it seems in every action they are involved in.
2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.
Is there public approval? No, the Trust and Respect has been damaged, but not beyond repair. The latest in Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois have joined the ever increasing list. It is top cops like Ramsey and Bratton who embrace the Peelian principles and use their decades of managerial experience to make change. Change is where it is at!
3. The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain public respect.
This is where community policing is of the utmost importance! The “street beat” is vital! Knowing your citizens individually is the key. Get out of the car and drop the car door barrier, walk among the people and make them see your presence instead of just hearing sirens and seeing flashing lights.
4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes, proportionately, to the necessity for the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
Educate the public back to “old days” of trusting a cop. Show them that “Protect & Serve” really mean that! That increases the ability to “know the streets”. The investigation is one thing, “tips” are the real crux of solving a crime.
5. The police seek and preserve public favor, not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws; by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of society without regard to their race or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
“Random Acts of Kindness” should not be random! There is the law on the books, to charge criminal who supposedly break those laws and then goes before a court. In-between is public opinion, Smartphones used as cameras and those who use the partial footage that wish to incite, no matter what the truth is. You wonder why police officers and management are frustrated! It has to be a “mind-set change” on all fronts. Yes, there are sides in these issues and socially we have increased the anger by the infiltration of a faction, who just want to cause trouble.
6. The police should use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient to achieve police objectives; and police should use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
Physical restraint? Who issues the first blow, fires the first shot or throws a barrage of rocks? The agitators purporting to be concerned citizens. It the days of Sir Robert Peel, the truncheon or short night-stick was the only means of defense. Look how society has changed! Sadly, you have to fight fire with fire!
7. The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.
What has happened internally with law enforcement worldwide? Is there a Human Resource issue? Do supervisors and managers really care about the citizens and bully their subordinates into submission in doing it their way to make the numbers look good?
Police officers are human beings who are doing a job. Has the job changed from “Protect & Serve” to “Quell the Morons and Make Our Numbers Look Good”? If there is an internal issue of concern it must be brought to the surface and exposed! The overhaul is demanded and bring back the Trust and Respect!
8. The police should always direct their actions toward their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary by avenging individuals or the state, or authoritatively judging guilt or punishing the guilty.
Impartiality is a must! Sadly, when you as officers are being undermined from all sides human nature kicks in. It becomes just a job, getting it done any which way you can for the easy life.
Shooting by a law enforcement officer is front page news virtually every day. There has to be a change on both sides. No, citizens under the law have rights to own guns. Even if you attempted to change that, the criminal would still have access to illegal guns and use them!
It is all about training and change management that is demanded now!
9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
Certain crimes are decreasing, violent crime is not! Social media is instantaneous communications. Sadly it is not always the truth! Here say is still the cause of more issues that we can imagine.
Can we see and know everything that went on in a criminal event? It used to be just the written word of a witness or the police officer. Today, it is Body Worn Cameras, CCTV, and the eye witness. All are presented and lawyers attempt to pull them apart.
So, WWSRPT? Yes, Peel would think what?
Simply it is going to get worse if we do nothing…
Power Is destructive Without Knowledge...
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