Rest in Peace
Our prayers go out to PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone and their loved ones, their savage, unnecessary futile murders scaring the nation’s consciousness, the nation shocked and feel assaulted too, as these fine Officers were cut down for nothing. Such events so rare in themselves that we real back in horror and confusion that a person of such evil intent could come from our midst, which we as a society all feel we have a responsibility in some way for allowing people like this murderer kill. I talked about the Shadsworth Estates within Britain and the lack of action to change these environments has created killers of unthinkable cruelty and intent. But this is not to make an excuse for this person, whose name I refuse to mention, to not allow his name to mark these pages.
We are all affected by those shots that rang out and laid waste to so many lives, not just those heroes of the Police Force that fell in the line of duty, but their loved ones, colleagues, friends and neighbours, all brutalised for no reason, many hurt so deeply they too are effectively destroyed by those same bullets. Now the inevitable blame game will begin in the media, in Parliament, within the communities, and in the pubs and public places, but there is only one person really at fault, the person who fired the bullets. Yes there were accomplices such as the person that supplied the weapon, the people who called in the suspected burglary that was the reason the two Officers attended, the people who hid this killer who had jumped police bail, all of whom should be punished to the full extent of the law, but this scum-bag that pulled the trigger is the central culprit and he must never be released from prison.
But it is at these times beyond the blame game that people turn to two more areas of conversation:
1. Arming the Police on mass
2. Bringing back hanging
But will this take away the shadows of fear we feel as a result of this evil, will we sleep better at night or feel avenged for these murders, no of course not, as it took over two decades to begin the process of healing for the 96 who died at Hillsborough, how many years will it be before the healing can start for the families of these officers, if ever. They were killed without mercy but this does not mean as a society we should become avenging angels or demand an eye for an eye, we have due process in law and it is through law we will see this murderer sentenced to life without the possibility of release, and his accomplices of one degree of another, and this is vengeance enough.
Nothing we do can undo the hurt, the abuse that has been inflicted, the scars that may never heal, but arming our police is not the answer. We police our society through communication and only use force when all alternatives have failed or when force is the only option to reach resolution. Look at places such as America, and arming their police has done nothing but to ensure they have the highest gun crime rates in the world, the highest deaths of both civilians and Officers, gosh even their Army Medics go to some city Casualty Units to be trained in fire arm trauma before being sent to the frontlines in Afghanistan. Arming the police in this country would only serve to put more guns in circulation and directly result in more deaths instantly, and more accidental shootings, they call them deaths by friendly fire, how utterly disgusting, it makes me feel sick to the stomach to even think about the carnage that would be unleashed on our streets. We focus on communication at the moment, working with our communities, policing through having the vast majority support our Police, and it works.
This was such an ambush of these too Officers, whether they had been armed or not may not have saved them, for pity’s sake he used a hand-grenade as well, so do our police need to have hand-grenades as well? Is this what we really want? The vast majority of the Police do not want to be armed, and we must continue our tradition or risk losing all we have maintained through working with our Police, respecting our Police, honouring them and the work they do. There are armed Units that patrol and respond where needed, and our airports are protected, key people and families protected with armed Police, and this is as far as it should go. Their deaths should be honoured as the heroes to our society that they are, they are martyrs to a free society and will never be forgotten, their deaths must not be used as some spurious argument to arm police and send death by gunfire through the roof, that is not the legacy we as a society should lay at their feet.
Bringing back hanging is a different matter, as there are two main strands against it:
1. It has been shown beyond doubt that in the past we have hanged people that were innocent, and although DNA testing amongst many advances in forensic sciences make such mistakes near impossible there is still the chance mistakes can happen, people can be framed, etc.
2. That we as a society did not want to be judged by killing people who had killed. We had a morale standing that we did not want to be blemished by the state act of execution. Has this now changed?
My feeling is that although the knee jerk reaction is to say yes hang him, yes this monster did it 100% guaranteed, yes this is a rare occasion when we have no doubts whatsoever, but to change 50 years of policy and beliefs that state killings are wrong for our society cannot be overturned regardless of the motivation. Life in prison without the possibility of release is a punishment that will continue for the person’s entire life, hanging punishes for a moment, which is more balanced. As the families have to somehow learn to live with this horror, this beyond a tragedy, then so the perpetrator should rot in prison forever and a day. A life of punishment not a moment of revenge.
Nothing can bring these fine Officers back, nothing can rewind the clock, we are all under the shadow this event caused and we pray that they have found peace, and we pray for their loved ones and all those affected can also find peace one day. Until that day we prey we become more enlightened, and work hard to remove the Shadsworth Estates amongst our communities so that these monsters are not bread so easily.
Rest in peace Nicola and Fiona.