Welcome to our world

Dear Mr Mitchell

One negative altercation in which one officer is alleged to have fabricated evidence. One! And your ‘life long support and confidence’ in the whole of Her Majesty’s Police force, has been ‘shaken’.

Imagine Mr Mitchell being strangled, called, a N…r, arrested, thrown into cell. Then, having miraculously been able to record irrefutable evidence that you were racially abused, watch that officer walk free from a court of law, twice?

Imagine Mr Mitchell, your son has been brutally murdered, a number of police officers treat your murdered son and his best friend not as victims but as drug dealers. They shockingly fail to investigate the murder in any meaningful way; one is even filmed exchanging brown paper envelopes from gangland bossed connected with the suspects. Only after nearly 20 years are two of the five or six suspects behind bars serving sentences for your son’s murder.

Imagning Mr Mitchell, that for no other reason than the colour of your skin too many police officers see you as a criminal, and as a result on a regular basis whether you are going to school or to work you are humiliated in the Stop and Search process.

Your have lost faith with the whole police force due to one unpleasant incident, and perhaps the officers Federation which has used the incident for their own political agenda, but how then should Africans, Asians and Caribbean’s feel? The Police federation, many police forces, and countless officers have often used the notion that ‘political correctness’ stops them doing ‘their job’. For many, doing their job is to condemn not one isolated individual but rather Black and minority Ethnic communities. Let’s also not forget if any Black person angrily spewed profanities at an officer more often than not an arrest would quickly follow.

But that aside Mr Mitchell, welcome to our world.

I and many others hope that given your first hand experience of potential lies and deceit during your interaction with the police you will join those who argue that a regulated police force who have to record some of their activities and be fully accountable for their actions is not some bureaucratic nonsense that detracts from good policing, but rather the opposite. These processes not only engender accountable policing but also ensure greater confidence with officers and who they serve.

Something, it seems Mr Mitchell we all want more of.

Simon Woolley

http://www.obv.org.uk/news-blogs/andrew-mitchell-mp-welcome-our-world