Yesterday’s events at Russel Square reminded me of something I have thought for a while; how fantastic our police officers are and how much credit they deserve for creating the people-police relationship we enjoy in this country.
Police at Russel Square this morning
Yesterday could have been so much worse. First; if the perpetrator had a gun. Just like those men that tried to kidnap an RAF officer and those that attacked Lee Rigby, you can only imagine how much more catastrophic it could have been if they had automatic rifles and engaged in firearms training. Neither of which are readily available here. Thank God. As it was, the attacker at Russel Square was tazered, affording us vital intelligence about the how’s and why’s of the heinous attack.
Second, if the police officer had a gun. The killing of Jean Charles De Menezes in 2006, when an officer mistook him for a terror suspect was awful. But these kind of deaths happen every week in the United States and are more common than you think in other nations too.
Third, if the public wasn’t supportive of the work of our police force. And this ties in with the former two reasons. The status of our police force as equal partners with the general public, fighting for a common goal, is deeply embedded in our psyche, whether you know it or not. The police are the people and even hardened criminals grudgingly accept this, hence why it’s almost unheard of that police men and women are killed or seriously injured. The episodes involving PC Dave Phillips, Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes are as rare as they are tragic.