Sunday, July 11, 2010

The illusory thin blue line

‘The thin red line’ refers to the British Army’s red-coated soldiers during the Crimean War’s Battle of Balaclava in 1854 [1]. The derived term ‘the thin blue line’ refers to police [2]. As I’ve written, due to my Save Albert Park experiences I’ve no respect for Victoria Police force members [3]. An item in last Friday’s Age validated my view [4]. It says that in Victoria in 2008/9, over 50% of all police caught speeding in police vehicles without justification were cautioned but not fined. The equivalent figure for non police is but 2%. Police said the discrepancy was likely due to police better understanding the law that allows the option of a warning if a driver has a 2-year-plus clean driving record and was less than 10 km/h over the speed limit. Deputy commissioner Lay encouraged all Victorians given a speeding fine to investigate if they’re eligible for a warning instead. No, Mr Lay. No investigation’s needed. It’s up to the police to tell speeders if they qualify for a warning rather than a fine. Police who fine speeders who qualify for a warning, are at least morally deficient, and at worst acting illegally. But what do you expect from a police force whose chief commissioner was caught illegally carrying bullets onto a plane, yet received no penalty let alone the compulsory one applying to that offence [5]. Thin blue line indeed. No wonder law abiding citizens like me have no faith in the police. For they give us no reason to have any.

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