STE­WART JACK­SON

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Telegraph - Ste­wart Jack­son Peter­bor­ough’s MP writes his reg­u­lar col­umn for the Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph

Ilike to think I’ve got a pretty good re­la­tion­ship with Cam­bridgeshire po­lice, as a can­did friend and sup­porter and I’m now on my fifth Chief Con­sta­ble. Our lo­cal city com­man­ders have come and gone over the years – some have been sub­op­ti­mal but most have been su­perb - and where they’ve taken tough de­ci­sions, I’ve backed them up whole­heart­edly and where they’ve let my con­stituents down, I’ve called them out: That’s my job.

I still think that there’s more progress needed in some ar­eas but progress on crime fight­ing and com­mu­nity work­ing has im­mea­sur­ably im­proved in the last ten years. Our new Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner knows that Peter­bor­ough is not an “add on” to Cam­bridge and has dif­fer­ent and spe­cific po- lic­ing needs.

Of course, I would be nat­u­rally dis­posed to the po­lice ser­vice as my fa­ther and both my brothers have been or are serv­ing po­lice of­fi­cers – I know the pres­sures of the job, the stresses and up and downs and the dif­fi­culty of putting into ac­tion the age-old Bri­tish con­cept of “polic­ing by con­sent” in a trou­bling, dan­ger­ous and of­ten vi­o­lent world, where our po­lice are asked to be so­cial work­ers, priests, babysit­ters, health­care as­sis­tants, etc., as well as en­forcers of the law, in a fair and trans­par­ent way. It’s hardly their fault that politi­cians have presided over mass mi­gra- tion and the acute polic­ing chal­lenges that it has vis­ited on the city.

In short, I ad­mire their pub­lic ser­vice and ded­i­ca­tion.

So the cock­les of my heart were warmed by the front page of this news­pa­per last week, record­ing po­lice raids on sus­pected Class A drug deal­ers and sub­se­quent ar­rests: Call me old fash­ioned but you can never have too many drug deal­ers doors’ kicked in first thing in the morn­ing – the pub­lic like it, it gen­er­ates a lot of good­will for the “boys in blue” and it puts the fear of God into the pitiable pond life who spread mis­ery and un­hap­pi­ness with their il­le­gal and im­moral trade. Let’s hope they get the req­ui­site sen­tences if found guilty and that the po­lice con­tinue to harass and dis­rupt them and their ac­tiv­i­ties.

So far, so good but for one Tele­graph head­line this week – that the Con­stab­u­lary are en­hanc­ing their “hate crime” strat­egy. Re­ally? If that means tack­ling peo­ple who are racist or ob­nox­ious and abu­sive to peo­ple with a dif­fer­ent skin colour, re­li­gion, sex­u­al­ity or cul­ture, I’m all for it. Who wouldn’t be? How­ever, if it is dis­torted into a po­lit­i­cally-cor­rect clam­p­down on free speech and the right of peo­ple to openly judge the ac­tiv­i­ties of some so-called vul­ner­a­ble groups (e.g. a mi­nor­ity of trav­ellers) who be­have in an anti-so­cial way or some peo­ple dis­re­gard­ing the ba­sic cul­tural val­ues and so­cial mores of the UK, then I will be less than im­pressed and will say so. Too of­ten, a “hate crime” can be some­thing the lib­eral Left dis­agree with.

Vot­ers elected this Gov­ern­ment to pro­tect them and their fam­i­lies not to tell them what they (largely) can’t say, do or think.

Polic­ing IS by con­sent – that of the law abid­ing, de­cent, tax pay­ing ma­jor­ity: the po­lice must be care­ful to use their pow­ers pru­dently and with wis­dom and com­mon sense, so as not to lose the faith and trust of the pub­lic who by and large wish them well.

You can never have too many­drug deal­ers doors’ kicked in – the pub­lic like it, it gen­er­ates a lot of good­will for the “boys in blue” and it puts the fear of God into the pitiable pond life

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