Whatever else it might be, the job of being a policeman is a rough one – or it used to be. For most coppers, facing a barrage of four-letter words from abusive suspects is an everyday occurrence.
But chiefs at one force in this country are warning officers that they may be upset by ‘swearing’ and ‘offensive language’ in training exercises – and that they should contact their supervisor if they find it all too much. What on earth is going on?
The move – part of a trend for so-called trigger warnings normally associated with ‘snowflake’ university students – has understandably been met with derision from experienced coppers.
One officer joked on Twitter: ‘If this language is not acceptable to you please go directly to the safe space where the duty inspector will bring you a nice snuggle blanket and a cup of tea … after that hand in your warrant card as you’re no ******* good to us.’
Too right but where do the current crop of Chief Officers get their weird ideas from? The language warning comes as part of an online exercise devised by Hampshire Police and aimed at both officers and civilian staff. Before a section on hate crime begins, an alert flashes up on screen saying: ‘Warning!’ in large letters.
It then says: ‘Please be aware that this package uses real life examples and, as a result, has offensive language and views in it. ‘Swear words are spelt out in full. Swear words are spoken in full in the audio files.
‘If you feel that this language is not acceptable to you, please close the package down and speak with your supervisor about how to proceed with completing the training.
Apparently, the warning was issued following a complaint by a distressed junior officer. Poor lamb should have applied for a more gentle occupation.
I don’t know why that paragraph came out larger than the rest but I am not going to try and change it back!
Back to coppering. I can vaguely understand so called trigger warnings being issued by universities to students who might encounter potentially offensive subject matter while studying subjects such as far Right groups and eating disorders, but for hard-bitten cops, it is completely ridiculours..
Bunter Johnson has pledged to introduce an extra twenty thousand officers over the next three years, but unless standards are raised that is likely to be a waste of time. A recent Home Office report suggested forces were struggling to recruit because so many young people are ‘wrapped in cotton wool’ and unprepared for the harsh realities of the world.
As the report laid out, ‘Participants gave examples of recruitment interviews where candidates stated they do not like confrontation or were shocked by the need to work different shift patterns and possibilities of cancelled rest days.’
A senior professor of sociology at the University of Kent, said: ‘This is very worrying. It is one thing for fragile nineteen year-old sociology students to be easily offended, but when you have policemen and women maintaining law and order getting distressed by harsh language then you have a big problem.’
Too damned right we have!
Needless to say, Hampshire Police declined to comment when approached by the Media. They wouldn’t, would they?
Let’s stick with coppering for a while. Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke of Cheshire Constabulary recently released a somewhat pathetic video in the form of an online message for ‘Pronoun Day’ which she described as ‘a day which is particularly important to people who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming’. Cooke wittered on: ‘Being misgendered can have a huge impact on somebody and their personal well-being. It can also be used as a form of abuse.’
Is the woman advertising for more business in the form of hate crimes? It certainly seems that the modern coppers want more of them. They want to be able to report them. Like DCC Cooke, they positively advertise for them.
But there is a huge problem with this. Home Office’s statistics claim that, in the past year, ‘transphobic hate crimes’ rose by thirty seven per cent. That is a pretty horrific number – like all the other rising hate crimes numbers. Until you examine the figures more closely. What exactly constitutes a transphobic hate crime? Murder? Mugging? Burglary? Not really, it can be merely causing offence. Once again we have to remember that these crimes are in the eye of the beholder. And consider just one such beholder from only a few days ago.
Ria Cooper is a glamour model based in Hull, who at the age of fifteen became Britain’s youngest transgender woman. Other than that, there is no reason why any of us should have heard of her. Except that earlier this month it emerged that Ms Cooper recently contacted Humberside Police to tell them of a set of WhatsApp messages she had received she was reporting as ‘transphobic.’ What were these messages? Well, they were from a photographer whom Cooper accuses of trying to scupper her modelling career.
The photographer reportedly pointed out that Cooper has a penis, which was not the sort of lady he was after. Cooper calls this ‘f****** disgusting behaviour’ and deemed it ‘transphobic.’ Whoopee! There is another ‘hate crime’ just there.
Where on earth is it all going to end? I am part of an endangered species because I am a white heterosexual male but if I get mugged or robbed, nobody cares. Were I to be black, gay or -Heaven forbid – transgendered, I could claim a hate crime and have policemen rushing to my aid from all directions.
It is all becoming a little bit out of hand I fancy.