Not In My Back-yard…...I’m Concerned….

by Bernie Bell - 08:02 on 19 January 2023

Not In My Back-yard….

After posting yesterday’s blog, it occurred to me that folk might say – ‘Oh aye, and how would you like it if someone traipsed across your garden without so much as a by-your-leave?’

Indeed – I wouldn’t be pleased.  I/we are happy for folk to come and walk our spiral and our garden – https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/08/14/bernie-bell-i-can-hear-the-grass-grow/ but these have been people we have some connection with, and we’ve agreed to them doing so.

Best if I quote from the ‘Right to Roam’ website… https://www.righttoroam.org.uk/  which explains the situation clearly….

Would you want someone wandering around in your back garden?

For centuries the Right to Roam has been deliberately conflated with home invasion. The absurdity here is a question of scale: the law of Tort, which governs trespass, makes no distinction between climbing the fence of someone's back garden, and taking a woodland stroll in a duke’s 13,000-acre estate. People have a right to privacy and personal security in their homes and gardens. But when the private wall of an estate extends around thousands of acres, the question becomes more prevalent: how much land does one person need exclusively? Each country that has a Right to Roam also has a codified understanding of what constitutes an area of privacy. In Sweden, it is forbidden to walk or camp within 70 metres of a dwelling or garden, in Norway it is 150 metres, in Scotland its is defined as a ‘reasonable distance’. An Englishman's home is his castle, a bastion of security and privacy, but when an Englishman's home is actually a castle, how much land does he really need for his exclusive use?”


I’m Concerned….

I’m concerned, when I see that the Police are to be given more powers when dealing with protesters – even peaceful protesters - while at the same time stories are coming out of Police officers using their power to abuse people…

“The Met said a total of 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence involving 1,071 officers and other staff were being reviewed from the last 10 years to make sure the appropriate decisions were made.

Former Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales, Vera Baird, who resigned from her post last year, said: "The Metropolitan Police seem incapable of not employing - and furthermore retaining - some quite evil people."

This is happening now, due to these revelations of abuse by one officer….  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-64302608

I’m thinking of the two Police officers who followed a female protester home – not so that she’d feel safer – but to let her know who’s in charge….


And….this notorious example of abuse of Police powers….….


I’m remembering, nearly 20 years ago Mike and I used to go to a poetry group in Lowestoft, where one of the group was a retired Policeman.  We were talking about the television series ‘Life on Mars’, and he said that some of his old colleagues liked it as it reminded them fondly of the ‘old days’ when they could pick up a suspect and beat them until they got the information they wanted.  Sometimes they took  the opportunity to settle old scores too.  He was a good-natured man who didn’t take part in that behaviour, but he said it was common enough.

I don’t know if things changed much, or if the perpetrators just got more careful about being found out.  All in all, it looks like abuse of power by the Police has continued.

Once again, I’m glad that I live in Orkney, from where we watch the Fascist state developing, South.

It’s my view that power is mis-used here, but mostly in different ways and for different reasons – more to do with Capitalism than Fascism. Either way - somehow fair-dealing gets lost somewhere along the line.

And – Police in schools?  Wouldn’t it be more to the point to try to address why the situation has developed where this might be needed and try to remedy that, than to have children being Policed – and, will that position of power be misused?

“If you tolerate this, then your children will be next’ – The Manic Street Preachers.

I received this from Change.org….

“Liv, a youth worker, started this petition after a child was subjected by police to a strip search at her London school which was described as “dehumanising and traumatising”. 

Yesterday the Runnymede trust, the UK’s leading anti-racism thinktank, released a report showing that there are 979 police officers operating in UK schools, 43% greater than previous figures have suggested. Liv says children need understanding teachers, student support staff, SEN training, youth workers, counsellors and mentors - not police. Sign below if you agree. 

‘My name is Liv. I started this petition because of news this week about Child Q. As a youth worker, I’ve seen first-hand how police claim to protect young people but actually cause significant harm. 

Child Q was subjected by police to a strip search at her London school that was “dehumanising and traumatising” and in which racism was likely to have been an “influencing factor” in the officers’ actions. 

In the past year alone, the Metropolitan Police have faced inquiries, investigations and reports which all reveal one thing: they are not keeping us safe. The Met are causing people harm and failing those that need safety the most: young people. Just last month, racist, homophobic and misogynistic texts sent by officers working in Charing Cross police station were made public. As a youth worker, I am asking, why are they in our schools? 

These problems are not confined to the Met Police. There are school-police programmes all over the country, including in Greater Manchester where I am based. 

Students need support and protection, not suspicion and strip searches. Black young people are too often deprived of the innocence and joy they deserve, treated instead like adults. Thankfully, we’ve moved beyond the days of corporal punishment - let’s not have criminal punishment either, which police in schools too often leads to. 

As a youth worker I know that the greatest risk to kids is not other kids but adults, whether in their homes or elsewhere. Safe schools are not ones with police officers patrolling the corridors, they are the ones with resources - understanding teachers, student support staff, SEN training, youth workers, counsellors and mentors. This is what our children need. Please sign and share if you agree that police have no place in our schools.’

Sign now with a click

And this wasn’t an isolated incident….  https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/aug/08/police-data-raises-alarm-over-welfare-of-strip-searched-children


Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/09/12/predators/

There are varied forms of Predator, and predation can be expressed in many different ways.


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