Politic is a huge matter in the UK today, where not only domestic politic is in focus, but also world politic. Today, the UK government is struggling with global problems, such as the Ukraine Crisis, and domestic problems, such as immigration to the UK and police trust issues.
I have chosen to focus on the police trust issue that the UK government is struggling with, as I find it a highly interesting and complex problem.
The overall problem is more or less that UK public is losing trust in the UK police, which has been caused because of certain cases. Two cases that have had a huge impact on the public trust are the Plebgate Case and the Mark Duggan Case.
The Plebgate Case is about an incident, concerning former Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell and three police officers. The incident occurred the 19 September 2012, and it was published the next day in The Sun, which reported that Mr. Mitchell had sworn at the police officers and called them ‘plebs’, who should learn their place. Though, Mr. Mitchell kept denying that he had ever used the word pleb, but he had sworn, which he apologies for. The police officers did not agree with Mr. Mitchell of not using the word pleb. The case meant that Mr. Mitchell lost his government job. The whole issues then occurred, when it was revealed that Mr. Mitchell actually did not use the word pleb, meaning that the police officers had lied. This created a lot of mistrust in the public, as the police had lied, which actually costed another man’s job.
The other case, the Mark Duggan Case, is about a 29-year old man, named Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police officers. The police officers claimed that Mark Duggan had opened fire against them, but it was revealed and concluded by the jury that Mark Duggan did not even have a gun in his hand, when he was shot. Even though it was concluded that the shooting was lawfully. This created a lot of mistrust in the public to both the police and the court, as the police had a lied and the court still claimed the shooting lawful. Further, I find it important to mention that the young man was a father of four, which is highly tragic. The case did also create a lot riots across the UK.
These two cases, and more, have created a lot of trust issues in the public, concerning the police. In a surveyed called ComRes made by ITV, it was revealed that after the two cases 26% said they did not trust police. Though, still 50% stated that they did trust the police. The surveyed consisted of 2,079 Britons. The survey did also state that 57% of the surveyed wanted to see police guidelines being tightened, meaning that police officers will only be able to use deadly force, thus they have personally seen the suspect holding a weapon. The survey does also state that 31% believed that ethnic majorities are unfairly targeted, when it comes to the police using their ‘stop and search’ power. Though, opinions on this matter are heavily divided between Britons, where 57% of Britons from black or minority ethnic backgrounds believe that minority groups are unfairly targeted, but only 28% of white Britons agree with this statement. This means that a lot of the people from ethnic minorities have a huge mistrust to the police. The mistrust is also generated, as the police force is mainly consisting of white Britons, meaning that the ethnic minorities feel that the police is not trustworthy. Though, this mistrust does also mean that ethnic minorities do not want to join the police force, making it harder for the police force to become more race differentiated, which could create less mistrust.
Thus the public’s, especially minorities’, mistrust to the police is a huge governmental problem that has to be solved, as the police is one of the most important parts of the democratic and modern society.