"If you want to read a blog to get a sense of what is going on in Hong Kong these days or a blog that would tell you what life was like living in colonial Hong Kong, this blog, WALTER'S BLOG, fits the bill." Hong Kong Blog Review
"I think we can agree that no police force is perfect, far from it. But at least most turn up when a crime occurs."
The arrest of 51-year-old Darren Brady by Hampshire Police proves that U.K. policing has gone off the rails - as if we needed any.
After all, we have the cautioning of a 14-year-old autistic boy— with threats of two years in jail — for asserting a girl is a girl. The said 'girl' identifies as a boy but dresses and looks like a girl. The list of ridiculous policing goes on.
So while the U.K. police ignore burglaries, thefts and violence, they are more than keen to marshal gangs of officers to intimidate a retired soldier for his opinions.
In an Orwellian twist, the police offered Mr Brady an indoctrination course, which he must fund to avoid arrest. Mr Brady's alleged crime was to re-post an LGBTQ symbol that looks like a swastika.
He declined to follow the re-education directive; hence the police came to arrest him. Fortunately, activist Lawrence Fox and former police officer Harry Miller were waiting to film what happened next. Miller experienced similar treatment from Humberside Police in 2019 and won his case in the High Court. Yet, the lesson didn't reach the clowns in Hampshire.
Fox captured the sorry episode on video, including the arrest of Harry Miller. He confronted the officers to shame them for lack of proper procedures.
As Miller faced arrest, the police asked if he had any weapons. He replied, "I've come armed with my wit and knowledge of the law." And so it proved.
In the face of a barrage of criticism, Hampshire Police released both detained men and acted to drop their 'hate crime awareness' course. The civilian Hampshire Police Commissioner came out to blast the Force, noting that real crimes go unattended.
I know from my 36 years of policing that officers will act as taught, which raises serious questions about the leadership of British policing, their training and how this distorted officer behaviour.
Harry Miller gave an interview (here) that details how the police are now the enforcement arm of the radical trans movement. In this madness that now envelops policing, the ideological zealots are in charge.
On the back of this comes official recognition that British policing is in crisis. But, then again, the public has long known this. In a scathing report, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) details the inadequacies and outright neglect of duty.
For example, only six per cent of robberies and four per cent of thefts led to a charge. Often evidence isn't collected, or it's ignored, while the public is left unattended in their moment of need.
I had to laugh when the HMICFRS suggested that officers must attend the scene of burglaries. Doh! That one drives home how far standards of service have slipped.
I think we can agree that no police force is perfect, far from it. But at least most turn up when a crime occurs. In Hong Kong, the police strive for a nine-minute response in urban areas and 15 minutes in rural zones. I saw similar response times during attachments in Singapore, New York and Miami.
In Hong Kong, a typical burglary call will see an immediate response by uniform branch officers. Next, come the crime investigators, scenes of crime experts, and a visit by the crime prevention unit.
And while detections remain a constant challenge, the mere presence of the police acts to reassure the public and deter culprits. But then, again, the Hong Kong Police are well resourced, motivated and focused on getting results.
And that is the crux of the matter. The leaders of British policing have for too long become adept at deflecting criticisms while acquiescing to budget cuts. Also, historical police failures brought changes that diverted officers from a crime-fighting role into quasi-agents of social change—all the nonsense around 'hate crimes' and 'offending people' fed that shift.
Until 2015, the number of theft cases which led to a suspect in court was around 10 per cent. In 2021-22, the rate had fallen to 4.1 per cent. In 2021, for theft from vehicles, the Metropolitan Police brought charges in only 271 cases out of a total of nearly 55,000, a stunning 0.5 per cent.
The Telegraph has revealed that 84 per cent of personal thefts – such as bag snatches – over the past three years had gone undetected.
The root causes of this mess go back decades. Between 2010 and 2017, the police workforce shrunk by almost one-fifth, reducing 21,000 police officers and 24,000 civilian staff. No organisation, however efficient or well-managed, can withstand such a massive loss in personnel without an impact on results.
Today, 22 per cent of detective posts remain unfilled, while one-fifth of officers have less than five years of service. In a profession where experience counts for everything, this is bound to have severe consequences.
What to do about this collapse of policing? How about not arresting and threatening people for having opinions and acting as the enforcement arm of the radical trans-movement (Harry Miller's line, not mine).
How about attending the scene of crimes to gather evidence? How about reducing the influence of academics and their crazy theories that have infiltrated the police colleges? How about listening to the community instead of characterising dissenting voices against the imposed culture as 'racist'?
And finally, how about recruiting the right people, including those without a degree, because policing is a practical skill. After all, a degree in 'Interpretive Dance and Gender Studies' may not be the best grounding to be a crime fighter.
I note all this because, with their willful blindness, U.K. politicians enjoy putting down the Hong Kong Police. While policing here has its critics; nonetheless, we arrive at the scene of an incident and deal with it. Our safe streets tell a story.
It is remarkable that the U.K. police, once seen as the gold standard, has fallen so far. What is also remarkable is that the British public is quiet and accepting of the situation. Is the hive mind so distorted by years of relentless erosion of public services that a sullen populace is silent? At least Miller and others are fighting back.
As Britain heads into winter with energy shortages, rampant inflation and a zombie government, something must give. How long before people realise that the U.K. isn't sanctioning Russia? It's sanctioning itself. How long before people comprehend more cuts are coming to policing and the NHS while prices soar?
All this is beyond belief because British politicians find the time and energy to attack Hong Kong, including policing. There is an extraordinary level of conceit and hypocrisy in their statements.
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.