Who would be a bobby?

Local Historian Ron Clayton. � Paul David Drabble'.
Local Historian Ron Clayton. � Paul David Drabble'.
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Who would be a bobby in South Yorkshire these days?

Dammed if they do, dammed if they don’t. Targeted right, left and centre by everyone who can muster the ‘nouse’ to use social media.

What’s social about living your life via the internet?

By the very act of using the term bobby you might guess I have a certain affection for the thin blue line, perhaps a rose-tinted one – well yes, I’ve seen the Blue Lamp and George Dixon flexing his arthritic knees on the steps of Dock Green, Z Cars and the later more gritty representations (that’s all they are ) of policing in the late 20th century and more recently.

I’ve known a few police officers, not very well, because the police are like the military, a caste which the public sees from a distance and which they only know if they actually become part of and see it from the inside.

Of course it wasn’t like depicted in Heartbeat.

How can you take seriously a show that’s a vehicle for the acting talents of Nick Berry and a bloke whose previous claim to fame was having his hand up Basil Brush’s rectum?

We certainly cannot judge it against hokum such as Life On Mars but we are encouraged to do because of the 11th Commandment – Thou Shalt Be Politically Correct .

Recent articles and books on South Yorkshire policing have shown something of the reality and not all of it is creditable.

However, the next time you hear of a bloke with a machete in a Rotherham Supermarket being stopped with a Taser and not deadly force like in the US or China or Russia or come across some of all the often unheralded good done by the rank and file of a police force, sorry service, that has to be all things to all people, then think twice before knocking ’em.

As for Police Commissioners, well some people might have preferred Dirty Harry than Dr Billings with all due respect.

I’m saying this because I’ve needed them recently and I can’t thank them or praise them enough.