Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Not quite the silly season.

Generally around this time of year the Press has what is called "The Silly Season". A time when breaking news is light and there are lots of silly and amusing stories filling the media. But this week is not part of the silly season and I wonder just what is going on. We are not talking about an isolated incident but a global trend.

In Northumbria at the weekend there was the Raoul Moat execution that has provoked lots of media comment and Facebook members leaving tributes. But did you know that the two police officers who fired at Raoul Moat with stun guns were using weapons that they had received little or no training for and which had not been approved by the Home Office. The XRep shotgun-style Taser has a range of 100ft rather than 21ft, and has an anti-tamper device so that if the victim tries to remove the high-voltage missile it delivers an electric shock to their hands. It also stuns the victim for 20 seconds – far longer than the less powerful hand-held weapon.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed that the guns had not been approved by its scientific development branch but added: "Police forces have discretion to use any equipment they see fit as long as the use of force is lawful, reasonable and proportionate."

...Well, that gives all Police forces considerate scope. Building equipment like electric drills and saws. Kitchen equipment like bacon slicers and knives. Where do we draw the line between instruments of torture and equipment that is proportionate? Raoul Moat was not an isolated story because Kim Sengupta has linked the Raoul Moat story to the killings at Nahr-e-Saraj in Afghanistan – as recent events in northern England have shown – a lone gunman running amok is not an exclusively Afghan phenomenon. Because 76 football fans were killed on Sunday at Kampala in Uganda as they were watching the World Cup. I was enjoying beer and beef burgers whilst these 76 football fans were slaughtered at a rugby club and restaurant in Kampala.

Has the world gone mad, for this is not the silly season but the slaughter season. Nowhere appears to be safe, people are minding there own peaceful business and up pop the lone gunmen. Some of these gunmen have uniforms, others don't. Some of these involved should be on our side but they suddenly turn around and shoot. Sadly these random attacks seem to be growing and I wonder where the next attack will take place.
There is, of course, no need for untrained Police Officers to use unapproved "stun guns". especaily if they cause unnessecary sufferring (such a device could even be illegal under the terms of the Geneva Convention).

The Heckler and Koch MP5 already in Police service is more then capable of dealing with the likes of Moat.

Sorry, didn't mean to enter that comment twice, I must have a sticky keyboard. Can't think why.
We all have our cross to bear , which can result in a sticky keyboard.
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