A Policeman's Point of View

As a police officer and an M.G. TC owner, I enjoy your excellent magazine, the issue of which I look forward to each month.

I accept your articles and comments on motoring because they are written out of experience and years of knowledge in the game. But Sir, how regrettable it is, when you sink to the sad level of such remarks as you made on page 29 of your January issue.

We are all to well aware of motoring problems in this day and age. While it is easy to criticise on information taken at face value, it would be wiser to verify the truth of that information, before trying to satisfy the appetites of the minority of “antipolice” motorists.

I suppose I am in the privileged position of being able to see both points of view. We, in this profession, do not delight in prosecuting the innocent motorist. Speaking for my part of the world, I would lay down my month’s wages against any insinuation that we stop the occupants of motor cars for no reason. The motorist of today must be in possession of the knowledge of his obligations to the law, and while in many cases a verbal warning is sufficient, there are times when a report must be made. Let us face facts, Sir. There are too many motorists whose terrible driving, and road manners are a menace. Even worse, there are those whose vehicles which would disgrace a scrap heap!

Now, as for being armed. Well, for the benefit of your readers, who may at some time come into contact with police, we have our wooden truncheons, and sometimes our torches. Attention, gentle thug, armed with pistol, baseball bat, iron bar or sand-filled cosh, copper at large with “Ever Ready two-cell.” Come Sir, We are losing perspective. If the police dealing with the train robbers require arms, it is not because they are frightened. It is because the Government in its monumental weakness is incapable of providing the powerful anti-criminal legislation, that this country, and its police force, so desperately require. Furthermore, the police, and especially my own comrades would give a great deal to avoid the use of such weapons. Regrettably, the law is so merciful that the professional thug can use any instrument of death he chooses, and be assured of no more than a few years in jaill regardless of the ghastly injuries, and grief, he causes.

We need your support Sir not your sneers! Please confine your remarks to motoring and refrain from making comments on subjects about which you have no experience.

[Name, address and number supplied—Ed.)

[We are always glad to hear what the Police think of us and a sensible letter from a policeman is most acceptable. It is only too true that the Government’s weakness over the punishment of criminals and the Police Authorities’ insistence that as Officers and Constables should harry motorists has given a bad odour to a Force that was, once, the pride of every law-abiding British citizen. We think it probable that there are P.C.s like our own correspondent who do not go out of their way to report minor motoring transgressions, but the fact remains that many time-wasting petty charges are heard in our Courts; just as it is a fact that far too many murderers and armed robbers are at large, a fact that the policemen surrounding those train-robbers still in captivity are armed, which is not in accord with our one-time boast that Britain does not permanently arm her Police and a fact that far too many able-bodied constables are set to work radar traps (and may soon be manning breathaliser tests) at a time when criminals and hooligans have never had it so good and safe.—Ed.]