Skip to main content

Law and order

The police can’t treat protestors as victims

Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Just over a week ago, a gang of thugs drove through Jewish communities in London with a megaphone, threatening to “rape their daughters”, says Nick Timothy in The Daily Telegraph. “Obviously they thought they were above the law.” Why wouldn’t they? Police officers had walked alongside anti-Israel protestors while they openly broke it. One bobby shouted “Free Palestine”, to cheers. The recent trend in public order has been to stand back and allow minor crimes to take place, then snoop through video footage later. The “nonsense” logic has it that intervening could trigger a more violent confrontation. 

“We are storing up huge problems for the future.” The biggest is that the police force has signed up to the idea that it is structurally racist. That’s all well and good when tackling bad officers’ racist views, or the fact that police powers such as stop and search “are misused to the disadvantage of mainly young black men”. But it also means coppers feel the need to take a softer approach to criminals “deemed to be victims due to their ethnic or religious identity”. That’s why officers were tough on the Sarah Everard vigil, but eased up on Black Lives Matter and pro-Palestine protests. This gives wrongdoers holding anti-Semitic placards a ready-made excuse: your rules and laws are “discriminatory and racist”. As a result, “the principle that we are all equal before the law is under threat”. And if that goes, no one will be safe.  

Read the full article here (paywall).