“It will be a disaster,”
“I can tell you why it will be a disaster. If you privatise the police force, the government is no longer responsible. It won’t be about crime any more, it will be about making money.”
“If you go to the police and they’re a private company, they won’t listen to you, just like if you go to a bank and ask for money – they can just say no. At the moment, the government is ultimately responsible.”
“We want the police to be accountable to the public and not a fly-by-night private conglomerate.”
“We’re going to fight [police privatisation] tooth and nail. Down to the wire. You and I together can make a difference.”
Strong, powerful words, clearly spoken by a man with a passion to protect the British way of policing from the policies and cuts being thrust upon the service by the current coalition Government.
But they are not, as you may have expected, been spoken by a leading opposition MP (although they should have been)
Nor were they spoken by anyone within the Police Federation, the #AntiWinsorNetwork or any of the well-known police bloggers !
They are the words of Neville Lawrence, father of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, when he addressed the Unison 2012 conference yesterday, the 22nd June.
He recounted in agonising detail the events of the night in 1993 when his son Stephen Lawrence didn’t come home. Many delegates were openly crying at the dignity and graciousness of Mr Lawrence, and his evident and continuing personal suffering.
“At the beginning, I wanted some basic answers about the death of our son,” he said. “But every door was closed to us. It was not until I came to UNISON conference that doors began to open.”
Mr Lawrence then removed his jacket to reveal he was wearing a ‘Stop Police Privatisation’ T-Shirt as he began to talk about why the currents plans are so wrong.
If ever there was a list of people who had a genuine reason to be aggrieved at the British police, Neville Lawrence and his family would, I’m sure, be pretty near the top, yet here was this man, with no political axe to grind, nothing to gain personally or financially, speaking out in public; pleading for the current madness to end.
So I say this to you today – if Neville Lawrence is a man brave enough to put his own personal grief and experiences behind him, and after all he and his family have endured, he is still willing to stand tall, and speak publicly and passionately to support us, the British police service, shouldn’t you ???