Anti-social networking

Well, well. Why am I not surprised by this?

A police officer has been given a written warning after he posted on his Facebook page that he was going to “bash” demonstrators at the G20 protests.

PC Rob Ward’s message was apparently published on the social networking website shortly after the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson. His status, timed at 8.17pm on April 1, read: “Can’t wait to bash some long haired hippys (sic) up @ the G20.” Twenty minutes later a reply was posted saying: “LMAO (laughing my a*** off) dats bad but good in da same way lol (laugh out loud).”

The policeman’s page has now been taken off Facebook.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “A PC from Enfield was today given a written warning under public conduct regulations.” She confirmed the officer would face no further disciplinary action.

Coincidentally, I saw this news report shortly after reading this blog post by someone I follow on Twitter:

I know two policemen well. They are both good guys and in my age group, I’m 48. One’s a traffic copper and the other works in the drug squad. Both hate their jobs. They have two complaints. The first is the familiar one of red tape and stupid laws obstructing their ability to do their work properly. The other, I feel, is directly related to the type of stories that are making it into the news this week.

The force, they tell me, has been infiltrated by people who are not really interested in our society and its well being. Instead, they like the pay and conditions, not to mention the generous pension arrangements. More disturbingly, they like power and actually seem to enjoy violence. They show little regard or respect for any member of society regardless of race or social class. They have a deep set ‘us and them’ attitude that is, in my opinion, both wrong and probably rather dangerous.

Take a look at the films of the police problems at the protests. Now mentally remove the uniforms (for those that were actually wearing any) and dress the guys in a football shirts or even hoodies. Get the picture?

And, while we’re on the subject, here’s an interesting YouTube video which illustrates current police attitudes towards being photographed or filmed: