Did Priti Patel actually stop and search for any evidence that stop and search is a good idea? By Leah Cowan

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There seems to be a truly deep-rooted, culturally ingrained idea in white Britannia that the police force, much like sausage rolls and drizzle, are just part of the whimsical, benign furniture of this green and pleasant land. From the bumbling PC Plod in the children’s fictional series Noddy, to the cheeky chappy buddy cops portrayed by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the 2007 film Hot Fuzz, the long arm of the law is painted as a bucolic well-meaning figure just doing his best to keep the peace.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t imitate art, and police in the UK are more likely to hit the headlines for brutalising and murdering people than saving the day in Toytown. For example, in July 2017 alone, three accusations of death in custody were levelled at the police including for the death of Darren Cumberbatch who was punched by police 15 times, tasered, and hit with a baton; Rashan Charles who was grabbed from behind in a corner shop and thrown to the floor by an officer who then proceeded to sit on him beyond the point when Rashan was limp and unresponsive; and Shane Bryant who became “ill” after being restrained by an off-duty police officer in a supermarket. Just this month, Jason Lennon “fell illl” after being detained by police and later died in hospital.

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Comment: It’s rare these days to see the origins and purpose of law enforcement and ‘criminal’ ‘justice’* examined or even questioned. For a brief overview of the history (and a bit of polemic) see here:

*  These are both bourgeois concepts for which we have no use.

Mal C.

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