When I was younger I was regularly stopped and sometimes searched by police officers in South Yorkshire.
A few years ago, after being attacked by youths driving what transpired to be a stolen car, on Brightside Lane in the early hours, and having my passport and wallet stolen, I had difficulty obtaining a ‘crime number’ from the police (I needed to prove the need for a passport).
After I solicited help from my MP an officer called me, and sneeringly observed that I’d been talking to my MP and that ‘it isn’t nice being attacked, is it?’
So it hasn’t come as too much of a surprise, but is no less sickening to witness, as we all have, the exposure of South Yorkshire’s Police’s (and their vaunted Commissioner) complicity in the abuse of girls on their patch.
Could this be described as a form of institutionalised ignorance of suffering and wrongs when committed against those of us regarded as the lowest or under classes?
I have heard police forces described as adopting a macho biggest gang in town attitude, but those days should now be being put behind us.
It is not a sign of good policing when crime goes unreported because of lack of faith in the police.
A senior officer giving evidence to a Commons hearing this week, was asked about the number of investigations/convictions in Rotherham. A few weeks ago there was the Cliff Richard Show.
Before that the Hillsborough enquiry and the policing of mining communities during the 1984-5 strike.
I have respect for the difficult role which men and women have as police officers and want to see the positive changes in attitude and training which is happening in the force grow for the better of all our communities, but surely a lot of us are feeling it around South Yorkshire – I despair .
Abbey Lane, Sheffield, S8