The police are the branch of the State where, perhaps more then any other, general consent is required for them to do their job. A huge number of people can actively dislike or hate a serving government without it having much of an impact on the successful functioning of that government. But the police, ultimately, become entirely useless in a democracy without an understanding in place that the majority of citizens trust and respect them. There must be a tacit majority acceptance of their right to constrain, arrest and detain those who break the law. The trust between the public and the police is the a reflection of the health of a democracy, a signal of its peaceful and harmonious function.
Every Country rests on a contract of rights and responsibilities between itself and the people. We accept the responsibilities of taxation and law in return for the defence of our rights. The police are the frontline, the public face of this contract, the people who appear whenever the contract is broken by the citizen (in theory).
But the State can break its side of the contract in one of two ways. It can become tyrannical and unjust, and the police little more than a private army enforcing that injustice. Under tyranny the law is shown to be arbitrary and the police become both political and brutal. They are thugs with a badge, and they stray into areas that no just police would trespass and no justified law would encompass, such as patrolling the private thoughts or emotions of its citizens. Where punishment and police reaction is applied it becomes a political choice, often used solely to buttress the rule of an elite or enforce their ideology on the populace, and not to protect that populace from harm.
The second way the police can break their contract with the people and lose all respect and support is by an undue passivity or uselessness, by failing to do their job rather than by doing it too fiercely. Police who accept bribes not to act, or police who ignore crimes, or police who refuse to investigate out of fear, fall into this category. They have failed in their duty, and are being paid for nothing.
The remarkable thing about the British police today is that they are failing in both these ways. They are tyrants towards the weak and law abiding, and cowards towards the strong and law breaking. They enthusiastically go along with the pursuit of minor, trivial, or ideological offences from those they know will not resist their authority. They avoid dealing with those who will resist their authority. They police in an arbitrary fashion depending on the politics of the moment and the political worldview of senior officers.
They will happily issue speeding tickets, but they won’t investigate burglaries, violence or rape. They will present a stern face of rejection when patrolling an EDL march, no matter how peaceful it is, but stand back and let anything happen when faced with a BLM march, no matter how violent it is. They will issue tweets and commands criminalising incorrect thoughts and offer sinister warnings to those who think for themselves, but be absent, entirely ineffective or in the very worst cases actual participants when grooming gangs rape children. More and more people are encouraged to report thought crimes, whilst more and more people no longer bother to report real crimes because they know that the chances of the police actually doing something (or the courts afterwards) are vanishingly remote.
Whilst a generally high level of public support gradually turns to contempt, they signal their virtue by dancing at Pride or Notting Hill or by taking the knee at BLM protests. They beg for respect from the criminal, whilst they lose the respect of the law abiding citizen. They become a joke, part sinister thought police and part prancing clown. They go along with the false arrest and imprisonment of some whilst ignoring the law breaking of others. Mythical ‘hate crimes’ are policed, while burglary, rape, and stabbings are not.
The increasingly few decent members of their profession are in despair as much as we are. The few decent ones left see students straight out of university promoted above them, on the basis of ideology rather than experience, and leave the job in fury. The contract is broken for both the citizen and the real professional, with untold negative consequences for society as a whole.