After Jack Straw's most recent stinging attack and game of 'kick the police' I thought I must speak up.
A little bit about myself before we start. I'm 35, live in Wales, have a fiancee and young son. I have been a Police Officer for the past eleven years, with the last six as a Detective. As such I believe myself well qualified to talk about policing issues. Mr Straw is apparently 'sceptical' about how busy the Police are and claims that some officers, "whatever they say, quite like being in the police station in the warm".
OK, I am sure there are a very small number of Police officers in the country who would rather be in the station than out on patrol. These officers are loathed by the absolutely overwhelming majority of officers who, believe it or not, want to serve the public and lock up criminals. Nothing gives us more pleasure than seeing a criminal go to prison knowing that some innocent person will be spared from being a victim of his or her crimes.
Mr Straw should understand that when he makes sweeping generalisations about the Police, it offends us all, not just the officers at which his politically ill-timed and ill thought out statement was aimed.
As a Member of Parliament I am sure Mr Straw is well aware of the damage such generalisations can cause. The huge majority of Police are honest and caring individuals. Can the same be said for our 'Honest' MPs such as Mr Straw? The generalisation of accusing all MPs over the expenses scandal instantly springs to mind, with MPs claiming it's not all of them that offend in this matter.
Those of you reading this piece who also have watched the TV drama 'The Wire' will understand my next statement. Mr Straw and his cronies would never think of entering a hospital and telling a surgeon, doctor or nurse how to do their job. They would never go to a Fire Station and tell the Firefighters how to put out a fire, yet they all presume that they know how to police the country. But in reality they don't.
Many of you will say that the Police are failing. I hope not. But if so it is as a direct result of the laws and bureaucracy implemented by politicians like Mr Straw.
Perhaps Mr Straw has more of an insight into policing than others, and perhaps he is in a better position to comment about officers not wanting to leave the station. If the officers had not left the station some years ago they would not have caught his son abusing controlled drugs, would they!
Outside Mr Straw's home tonight are probably a couple of armed officers in an unmarked car, making sure the 'Justice Secretary' is safe. Should an incident occur, they will risk their lives to protect him. Mr Straw, your slight on the police force is equally aimed at the people outside your house looking after you as it is at anyone else. But they will be professional and do their job despite your disrespect for them!!!
Mr Straw suggests that it "is not about money, it’s about leadership, organisation and culture". The same could be said about why our country suffers the despair it currently does, 'Leadership, Organisation and Culture'!
Finaly, there are more than 120,000 Police officers in this country, whose votes in the next general election have been handed to the Conservatives following Mr Straw’s statement. I am sure that Mr Straw's leadership will be more than happy with that!