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difference between American and British Police





slashnburn99
On a visit to America, The police are respected, even have action figures

In Britain totally different, respect is low for the British police , this latest offering will hurt them further and could end up costing British Tax payers around 1/2 million in damages

Man Died of a heart attack an hour later, he was on his way home from work (selling papers)

Film shot by someone from New York, who was in London


http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-GB&vid=81738ca0-67a6-4526-9e67-ad2552d8705c&from=homepage_carousel
Solon_Poledourus
slashburn99 wrote:
On a visit to America, The police are respected, even have action figures

What American city did you visit? I have lived in some of the biggest cities in the States and I can tell you that the Police are generally more respected in theory than in practice. What I mean is this: We have TV shows that show great Police officers doing great things, and as you said, action figures, but out on the streets our Police don't have nearly as much respect as they should. Many times, they are feared by the public due to a minority of corrupt Police officers.
slashburn99 wrote:
In Britain totally different, respect is low for the British police

Sadly, this has not always been the case. At least from my perspective. About 10 years ago I was in London and the Police seemed to be very helpful and compassionate. I think alot of this animosity comes from the Police there having to act as an arm of anti-terrorism for the government, which puts them on edge. American and European Police have become alot less compassionate in the last decade, due to the media-fueled fear of foreigners as "terrorists". A Police officer friend of mine told me that their department actually encourages them to be more critical of foreigners(especially of Middle Eastern descent). It's a very sad situation.
slashburn99 wrote:
Man Died of a heart attack an hour later, he was on his way home from work (selling papers)

Cases like this have become all too common in Europe and America. I remember a few years ago, a Brazilian man in England(I think... I don't remember the details of the case, but I remember the man was not guilty of any major crime) was chased by non-uniformed Police into a railway station, and they shot him in the back and killed him. He was running because he didn't know who they were. Surely, a sad state of things in the world.
slashnburn99
Hi Solon

Made some very good points there

Modern pressures are a factor

On the Brazilian Killing on the Underground Tube (Subway)

Watched a program on it

They started following the man they killed, at 8am from his house all the way to the tube.

The Intel was wrong on the address and the person at the beginning

They had the wrong person and the bagpack was his downfall
watersoul
I cant comment on US police officers, never had any dealings with them, and what I see on TV/Movies shouldn't be part of any opinion I could form. Having said that though, I do like the fact that the worst that would probably happen to me in the UK is being hit with a baton or sprayed in the face with mace, or perhaps get a few thousand volts of electricity with a Tazer!

UK Police do not carry guns routinely (although every area has at least one unit somewhere on patrol that can be called with firearms if needed) - I like that, and I think if they all carried guns we'd have far more crim's carrying arms as well.

I have been beaten in the past by police officers (unjustly and quite severely!) but there's always a minority section of bad people in any organisation - thats human nature!
Overall though, I have absolute respect for the men and women who walk our streets upholding the law here in sometimes difficult situations...the same officers who've beaten me and others in the past would still baton an attacker if I was on the floor being robbed or something on a night out.

To put it simply, if the police ever went on strike (which they're not allowed to do in the UK) I would lock my door and hide in the house because every thieving murderous scumbag out there would go on the rampage - thank god they do the job they do! Smile
Solon_Poledourus
Alot of times here in the US, cops tend to be very skeptical of everyone. I understand that they spend most of their careers dealing with the scum of the Earth, but it still sucks when they approach a decent person with the assumption that they are a criminal.
One night, years ago, I was giving a friend of mine a ride home, he lived on the opposite side of the city. It was late, so I decided to take a few shortcuts to avoid traffic lights. I didn't go through a dangerous area, but the route took me roughly in that direction for a while. We got pulled over by the police, and my car was searched(ransacked!), and one of the officers told me that the "only reason white people come to this side of town is to buy crack or pick up hookers"(or to pull people over, as he was also white). He said it so matter-of-fact, and the other officer didn't even give him a look about it. This type of profiling is so common here, but back then I was just stunned that he could say something like that.
I'm glad for the job they do, I just wish it didn't take such a toll on them. That job, at least in the US, turns normally decent people into overly aggressive, judgemental pricks.
watersoul
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
I'm glad for the job they do, I just wish it didn't take such a toll on them. That job, at least in the US, turns normally decent people into overly aggressive, judgemental pricks.


...again though, if those pricks weren't on the streets they'd be far more dangerous for everyone!

I know what you mean dude, but give me a judgmental cop any day before a crack-head street robber, it's just a pity life is never perfect Wink
Fatality
I have never been to the UK and I never thought of the differences in police. I know countries all have different laws and rules, but even if these are similar we don't think about the law enforcement differences. Thanks for sharing.
Solon_Poledourus
watersoul wrote:
...again though, if those pricks weren't on the streets they'd be far more dangerous for everyone!

I know what you mean dude, but give me a judgmental cop any day before a crack-head street robber, it's just a pity life is never perfect

I totally agree. I grew up with cops, my dad worked for the Sheriffs' Dept. in Arizona for about 16 years, so we always had deputies around the house. I like cops on a personal level, and I respect them on a professional level. I think they ought to be paid more, and recieve free education for things like Sociology, Psychology, etc. In my opinion, alot of the problems come from them not being fully prepared for such a harsh job when they first start out. They just get thrown to the wolves, and they build up defenses for it. It works, for the most part, though it could be better.

Then again, it could be much worse. We could be living in Haiti.
missdixy
Where I live there is really very little respect for police. Most of the police I've met in my life, though, have been real pricks so it's not like they really deserved much respect, either.

Edit And yes, I know that without police the streets would be much dangerous, and I do appreciate what they do....but I just really disagree with the way in which a lot of them to do it. Most of the police I've met are unnecessarily mean/rude/disrespectful to people. Also, I knew two pricks in high school who were real ******, and they're both policemen, so they have sort of tainted the image of policemen for me even more! Although of course, not ALL cops are pricks...just, from my experience, many.
TentativeChaos
Unfortunately the fact is that a lot of profiling that cops do is based on the unfortunate truth. For example the cop that said white people only go to a certain part of town to by crack and hookers was probably right about 90% of people. It's not something that is right, but it is true. On another note, while 90% of Arab looking people are not terrorist, 90% of terrorists are Arab looking. So while it's horrible that Arabs are always targeted for random searches and the like, it must be acknowledged that the police are more likely to catch terrorists if they target Arabs. It's just something that must be accepted as logical even if it isn't fair.

Furthermore I think it is safe to assume that most cops you deal with aren't going to treat you fairly. It's not their fault, that they are screwed up, but the sad truth is that years dealing with the scum of the earth (for most people) will slowly drag you down closer to their level. Furthermore, if 90% of the people you interact with on a daily basis are scum, then you're going to start assuming that everyone is scum (if only subconsciously).

The job a policeman is one of the worst, they are necessary for society to function, but their very occupation inexorably drags them closer and closer to becoming that which they protect against.
deanhills
I really admire the police in Canada, and specifically in Vancouver BC. What I like about them is that they mingle with the public. They don't wait for something to happen, generally they are always in the vicinity and their policy seems to be to know their neighbourhoods and to take note of people and their goings on. So they can either prevent something from happening, or when something happens, have a better chance to control it. They mingle in coffee bars as well, and I've had the opportunity of getting to know them closer and they really have my respect.
Solon_Poledourus
TentativeChaos wrote:
Unfortunately the fact is that a lot of profiling that cops do is based on the unfortunate truth. For example the cop that said white people only go to a certain part of town to by crack and hookers was probably right about 90% of people.

Any evidence to support that statistic?
TentativeChaos wrote:
On another note, while 90% of Arab looking people are not terrorist, 90% of terrorists are Arab looking.

Again, any evidence in support of your numbers?
TentativeChaos wrote:
So while it's horrible that Arabs are always targeted for random searches and the like, it must be acknowledged that the police are more likely to catch terrorists if they target Arabs. It's just something that must be accepted as logical even if it isn't fair.

Yeah, if only they had been targetting more Arabs back in 1995, they would have increased their chances of catching Timothy McVeigh, right? In the entire World there are only between 350 to 422 million Arabs. If we agree that most Arabs(at least 75% of 422 million, for the sake of argument) are not terrorists, then that leaves a little over 105 million Arabs that could potentially be terrorists. And that's being very generous. Now, compared to the rest of the non-Arab terrorist groups worldwide, for 90% of them to be Arab is damn near a statistical impossibility. Assumptions like these are dangerous, and usually fueled by a very biased media. And it seems to be going according to plan.
TentativeChaos wrote:
Furthermore I think it is safe to assume that most cops you deal with aren't going to treat you fairly. It's not their fault, that they are screwed up,(etc etc...)

I agree with the rest of your post... in fact, it's pretty much the same thing I said a couple posts north of here.
Vladalf
Cops aren't that dramatic and full of heroism like in tv series unfortunately. Where I live cops are allways solve the cases they want to, corruption is big here.
Vlad
TentativeChaos
Solon_Poledourus wrote:

Any evidence to support that statistic?

Again, any evidence in support of your numbers?

Yeah, if only they had been targetting more Arabs back in 1995, they would have increased their chances of catching Timothy McVeigh, right? In the entire World there are only between 350 to 422 million Arabs. If we agree that most Arabs(at least 75% of 422 million, for the sake of argument) are not terrorists, then that leaves a little over 105 million Arabs that could potentially be terrorists. And that's being very generous. Now, compared to the rest of the non-Arab terrorist groups worldwide, for 90% of them to be Arab is damn near a statistical impossibility. Assumptions like these are dangerous, and usually fueled by a very biased media. And it seems to be going according to plan.


Sorry I didn't mean mean those to be actual statistics. I should have said that, those were just rough estimates by me. And yes I know our media is horribly biased *cough* Fox News *cough* but you have to admit that the stories they tell are usually based upon at least some facts. Furthermore, while not all terrorists are Arab, obviously, the terrorists groups that appear to be targeting America right now seem to be predominantly Arab and use Arabs as their infantry.

Like I said, it's not fair that Arabs are targeted, but the sad truth is that it does make sense.
carlospro7
that looked totally unprovoked.
deanhills
TentativeChaos wrote:
Furthermore, while not all terrorists are Arab, obviously, the terrorists groups that appear to be targeting America right now seem to be predominantly Arab and use Arabs as their infantry.

Like I said, it's not fair that Arabs are targeted, but the sad truth is that it does make sense.
Probably the US presence in Afghanistan supports this statement. The US seems to have invested quite a bit of its military focus on the Middle East.
PatTheGreat42
In America, the police carry guns. That's a difference, no?
Solon_Poledourus
TentativeChaos wrote:
Like I said, it's not fair that Arabs are targeted, but the sad truth is that it does make sense.

Ever wonder why racial profiling isn't part of any official police training? Because it's illegal, that's why. Why is it illegal? Because it doesn't work. Police are trained to look for criminal activity, regardless of who the perpetrator of the crime is. If they were to be trained to pay extra attention to Arabs or Mexicans or Blacks, then that would increase the chances of them not paying enough attention to someone else who may be committing a crime.
So it does not "make sense", nor is it legal by any means. Is it encouraged "off the record"? Yes. An example of why they do this can be found in any American city. Officers dealing with gangs mostly comprised of blacks or hispanics(for example), will tend to target those racial groups. Unfortunately, they will end up pulling over and harassing alot of black and hispanic kids based on their race alone, instead of being on the lookout for criminal activity. A good example of how racial profiling doesn't work can be found in the famous case of Robert Wilkins. Among many cases every year, racial profiling causes problems and solves none. If cops profile Arabs for terrorist suspicion, they will be caught off guard when the person blowing up a building looks like Timmothy McVeigh or Jane Alpert, or a number of other terrorists who are not Arabs.
No statistical evidence has ever proven the validity of racial profiling. Yet people still support it out of fear and ignorance and the assumption that certain ethnic groups are more prone to certain types of criminal activity. Ultimately, this is nothing more than thinly veiled racism.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
TentativeChaos wrote:
Like I said, it's not fair that Arabs are targeted, but the sad truth is that it does make sense.

Ever wonder why racial profiling isn't part of any official police training? Because it's illegal, that's why. Why is it illegal? Because it doesn't work. Police are trained to look for criminal activity, regardless of who the perpetrator of the crime is. If they were to be trained to pay extra attention to Arabs or Mexicans or Blacks, then that would increase the chances of them not paying enough attention to someone else who may be committing a crime.
So it does not "make sense", nor is it legal by any means. Is it encouraged "off the record"? Yes. An example of why they do this can be found in any American city. Officers dealing with gangs mostly comprised of blacks or hispanics(for example), will tend to target those racial groups. Unfortunately, they will end up pulling over and harassing alot of black and hispanic kids based on their race alone, instead of being on the lookout for criminal activity. A good example of how racial profiling doesn't work can be found in the famous case of Robert Wilkins. Among many cases every year, racial profiling causes problems and solves none. If cops profile Arabs for terrorist suspicion, they will be caught off guard when the person blowing up a building looks like Timmothy McVeigh or Jane Alpert, or a number of other terrorists who are not Arabs. So obviously some profiling would have to happen in those instances, but not in a negative racist kind of way.
No statistical evidence has ever proven the validity of racial profiling. Yet people still support it out of fear and ignorance and the assumption that certain ethnic groups are more prone to certain types of criminal activity. Ultimately, this is nothing more than thinly veiled racism.
Are you sure about this? It would make sense to me that there has to be some profiling, without any negative intent. If you work with a Hispanic community it has to make sense that police need to understand the culture and be able to speak the language so would try and have police from that Community or at least have the ability to communicate with that community through knowledge of the language and culture. Communication would be totally impossible in those communities who are predisposed to not being able to speak, read or understand English well and aren't able to articulate events well as a consequence. Ditto Arabic Communities, Itialian, Russian, Ukranian, etc.
Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
Are you sure about this? It would make sense to me that there has to be some profiling, without any negative intent. If you work with a Hispanic community it has to make sense that police need to understand the culture and be able to speak the language so would try and have police from that Community or at least have the ability to communicate with that community through knowledge of the language and culture. Communication would be totally impossible in those communities who are predisposed to not being able to speak, read or understand English well and aren't able to articulate events well as a consequence. Ditto Arabic Communities, Itialian, Russian, Ukranian, etc.

None of what you said here is racial profiling, it's merely bridging the communication gap. Racial profiling is specifically, and unfairly, targetting a racial group under the assumption that they are more likely to commit certain types of crimes. In heavily ethnically mixed communities, if one group is being pulled over and having their vehicles searched more than others, that is racial profiling. While the police are busy focusing on group "A", people from other groups are busy committing crimes and getting away with it because the police resources are being unevenly spread. This is why police are trained to look for "behavior", not ethnicity or religion, etc.
Peoples' acceptance of racial profiling is stunning. For all the studies and statistics gathered about this criminal practice, proving the fact that it works against law enforcement efforts, rather than for it, I am shocked to see how many people still believe in it's usefullness.
Amnesty International wrote:
1) RACIAL PROFILING UNDERMINES ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS
Racial profiling has reportedly undermined important terrorist investigations in the U.S., including the Oklahoma City bombings in which the two white male assailants were able to flee while officers reportedly operated on the theory that the act had been committed by "Arab terrorists." Similarly, during the Washington, DC area sniper investigation, the African-American man and boy ultimately accused of the crime reportedly were able to pass through multiple road blocks with the alleged murder weapon in their possession, in part, because police profilers theorized the crime had been committed by a white male acting alone.

2) RACIAL PROFILING MAKES US LESS SAFE

Time and again history has proven that race-based policies do not make us safer. In fact, not only do such practices waste limited resources, they make us less safe. For example, the arrests of John Walker Lindh (a white, middle-class male) and Richard Reid (a British citizen of West Indian and European ancestry) confirm that effective law enforcement techniques must rely solely on behavior and not race or nationality in order to ensure security. Moreover, in 2003, reportedly as an act of civil disobedience, a white college student from Maryland smuggled box cutters, bleach, matches, and an item with the same consistency as plastic explosives onto six airplanes. Later, he said that he was able to pass through airport security multiple times because he did not "fit the profile".

3) RACIAL PROFILING IS A PROVEN FAILURE IN THE 'WAR ON DRUGS'
Statistics have proven that using racial profiling to interdict highway-bound drug couriers is not just wrong, but ineffective. A survey by the Department of Justice in 1999 revealed that while officers disproportionately focused on African-American and Latino drivers, they found drugs more often when they searched whites (17%) than when they searched African Americans (8%). A similar survey in New Jersey found that although people of color were searched more frequently, state troopers found drugs in vehicles driven by whites 25% of the time, by African Americans 13%, and by Latinos 5%.

According to a study of the U.S. Customs Service's practices by Lamberth Consulting, when Customs agents stopped using racial profiling to target potential smugglers and began focusing on race-neutral factors such as behavior, they increased their rate of productive searches by more than 300%.

4) RACIAL PROFILING ENCOURAGES HATE AND UNDERMINES NATIONAL UNITY
According to a wide range of civil rights and human rights organizations, the expansion of racial profiling after the September 11th attacks appears to have contributed to a climate of discrimination that indirectly encourages hate crimes against certain minority groups and people who look like them by conveying the message that such discrimination is acceptable and helpful in fighting terrorism.

Simultaneously, Arab and Muslim-American community leaders claim that racial profiling tactics such as the Department of Justice and INS's Special Registration program have greatly diminished their community members' desire to assist with anti-terrorism efforts. Similar effects have been noted in African-American and Latino communities targeted by racial profiling police tactics.

5) THE ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT KEPT ITS PROMISE TO END RACIAL PROFILING
Both President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft are on record as opposing racial profiling. Just after the September 11th attacks, the Attorney General repeated this commitment. However, since then the administration has allowed important anti-racial profiling legislation to languish. At the same time, the administration has expanded the use of racial profiling by implementing immigration and law enforcement policies such as the National Security Entry/Exit Registration System, which required male visitors over age 16 from 24 Arab and Muslim countries and North Korea to register and submit to interrogation.

Although a directive issued by President Bush in June 2003 bans racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies, it contains several major flaws. These include: an exception for the use of race in "national security" investigations; a lack of enforcement mechanisms; and no mandated data collection on law enforcement practices. Moreover, state and local law enforcement agencies are not bound by this measure.

To read more about it, heres the link.
Jamatu
I wonder how this topic got onto racial profiling? Almost all discussions involving police end up that way! Anyways the police are less respected in Britian I think because they're not as 'tough' as the American police are. I can't put it into words exactly how I want to put it but I think you get the picture.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
In heavily ethnically mixed communities, if one group is being pulled over and having their vehicles searched more than others, that is racial profiling. While the police are busy focusing on group "A", people from other groups are busy committing crimes and getting away with it because the police resources are being unevenly spread. This is why police are trained to look for "behavior", not ethnicity or religion, etc.
Thanks for the explanation, I obviously did not know what it really meant and so have just learned something new. I found some interesting information on it in Wikipedia as well including that it is illegal:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_profiling
Quote:
In the United States, the government does not have the right to conduct searches based solely on racial profiling. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. Since the majority of people of all races are law-abiding citizens, merely being of a race which a police officer believes to be more likely to commit a crime than another is not probable cause. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that all citizens be treated equally under the law. It has been argued that this makes it unconstitutional for a representative of the government to make decisions based on race. This view has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Batson v. Kentucky and several other cases.


Interesting part of the Wikipedia article is that profiling by race is implemented in Western countries (obviously with the exclusion of the United States, Canada and possibly a few other countries):
Quote:
Conversely, it is argued that including race as one of the several factors in suspect profiling is generally supported by the law enforcement community within the Western world. It is claimed that profiling based on any characteristic is a time-tested and universal police tool, and that excluding race as a factor is illogical.


Wikipedia described the following about profiling by race in Canada:
Quote:
Accusations of racial profiling of visible minorities who accuse police of targeting them due to their ethnic background is a growing concern in Canada. In 2005, the Kingston Police Service released the first study ever in Canada which pertains to racial profiling. The study focused on in the city of Kingston, a small city where most of the inhabitants are white. The study showed that black skinned people were 3.7 times more likely to be pulled over by police than white skinned people, while Asian people were less likely to be pulled over than whites or blacks. [1] Several police organizations condemned this study and suggested more studies like this would make them hesitant to pull over visible minorities.

In 2003, Professional Boxer Kirk Johnson launched a Human Rights Inquiry against the Halifax Regional Police based on Racial Profiling. During the inquiry Johnson claimed that he had had his car stopped 28 times over five years while in Halifax. Johnson was awarded $10,000 in damages, in addition to $4,790 to cover his travel expenses. The police service was also ordered to create a scholarship in Johnson's name.

Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
Thanks for the explanation, I obviously did not know what it really meant and so have just learned something new. I found some interesting information on it in Wikipedia as well including that it is illegal:

No problem, glad to help out. I know it's supposedly not implimented in the States, but it's in practice on almost any street in any moderately sized city here. It's reactionary, much the same way, though to a lesser degree, of blatant racist behavior displayed by "hate groups". Cops are human, after all, and like alot of other people, they sometimes base their feelings and actions towards entire groups of people on past experiences with people who resemble those groups. Sadly, this tends to work against them(and us), as there is no such thing as an ethnic group who has a predisposition towards criminal behavior. It's like people who say Pitbulls are more likely to attack people than other dogs. It's all in the training.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Thanks for the explanation, I obviously did not know what it really meant and so have just learned something new. I found some interesting information on it in Wikipedia as well including that it is illegal:

No problem, glad to help out. I know it's supposedly not implimented in the States, but it's in practice on almost any street in any moderately sized city here. It's reactionary, much the same way, though to a lesser degree, of blatant racist behavior displayed by "hate groups". Cops are human, after all, and like alot of other people, they sometimes base their feelings and actions towards entire groups of people on past experiences with people who resemble those groups. Sadly, this tends to work against them(and us), as there is no such thing as an ethnic group who has a predisposition towards criminal behavior. It's like people who say Pitbulls are more likely to attack people than other dogs. It's all in the training.
I guess if a crime has been committed and they are looking for the perp and witnesses allege it was an Afro American individual, that probably would change the scenario a bit? There is a certain point where you can't really get away from the differences and where the differences become significant in a positive way?
andredesignz
slashnburn99 wrote:
On a visit to America, The police are respected, even have action figures


I have never been to America but this statment is so right i heard pple talk
Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
I guess if a crime has been committed and they are looking for the perp and witnesses allege it was an Afro American individual, that probably would change the scenario a bit? There is a certain point where you can't really get away from the differences and where the differences become significant in a positive way?

That is perfectly acceptable. It's merely a description of the alleged criminal at that point. It's a "clue" to solving a case, just like the color of his shirt. But in the case of random drug searches, for example, it's quite unfair to target only one ethnic group when there is no single criminal in question. Also, when there is no description of a specific criminal, it's wrong to assume his ethnicity based upon the type of crime, as they did with the McVeigh case where they were just sure it was Arab terrorists.
vicar013
Good threadage. Solon_Poledourus paricularly good stuff. Thanks

Here's a difference between US and UK Police; that is that the following methods might work in Britain but not so much across the Atlantic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XDCndRkzd8 - How To Deal With The Police

This purposeful video of a balaclava'd man telling us how to avoid arrest is high in the ratings, clearly it is aimed at UK citizens and I think he makes a few very good points,whilst being highly dubious.
Current conduct of the Police over here (G20/numerous busts) leads me to shout ANARCHY!
Ghost900
I have never been to Britain so cannot speak for there Police, but the Police in America seem to be friendlier the more outside of big cities you go. I live in a suburb and the Police are very helpful and I think the crime rate has a lot to do with it and that in bigger cities you would have more possible terrorist activity.

I respect Police until I am pulled over, then its over. Very Happy (Kidding)
Josso
I suppose it entirely depends. I have experience with cops from Utah only, they seemed pretty friendly and reasonable despite being called out because of us but yeah Ogden isn't exactly high-crime - it would be interesting to see the contrast in somewhere like NY. I'd say the respect for the police in general is higher in America than it is in the UK - I wouldn't say cops are any better there or here, although I do prefer UK law for several reasons.
DoctorBeaver
I live in the UK and used to have a lot of respect for the police when I was younger. However, over the years that respect has been eroded mainly as a result of personal experience. I now regard the police as little more than legalised thugs.

However, having said that, I would still take a British copper rather than 1 from some other countries I've been to. If any of you have experience of law enforcement in countries like Kenya or Hong Kong you will know why.

I have only had 1 encounter with police in the USA and that was merely to ask directions when I was walking in Boston. The officer didn't just tell me how to get where I wanted to go, he accompanied me part of the way there to ensure I went the right way.
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