Stop filming and start helping - BTP Federation backs Met on officer assaults
The British Transport Police Federation is backing calls for the public to stop filming officers being assaulted.
Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh recently urged passers-by to stop filming and start helping, after ‘disgusting’ videos mocking officers as they are attacked were posted online.
It’s a view echoed by Nigel Goodband, British Transport Police Federation Chairman, who told the organisation’s conference this week that society should not accept assaults on officers as being ‘normal’.
“My Federation colleague, Ken Marsh, said the mocking of officers being assaulted is disgusting.
“Both Ken and the Met Commissioner called for the public to get involved and help instead of standing by, to show that society does not accept assaults on police as normal and I am calling for the same,” he said.
Videos posted often only show a half truth of what happened he added meaning officers are being judged unfairly.
“Crime, public disorder, anti-social behaviour and people in distress. They [the public] want us to tackle those things that make life unpleasant for everyone else.
“I strongly believe the majority of the public hold us in high regard and want to see us tackle those who don’t care what misery they inflict on others.
“But we must also recognise that there has been a change in society. Members of the public are far less likely to stop and assist officers dealing with something, often understandably for fear of being hurt or simply getting involved by putting themselves at risk and too often that’s the message we also give them,” he told delegates at the Conference in Edinburgh.
“A far more sinister minority seem to revel in standing by filming officers in action, criticising their every move, sharing those same videos on social media with their own commentary.
“Many of those videos only show half the picture. Filming only begins half way through the incident. The start of any confrontation is not shown, and the complaint made by a scared passer-by is not seen.
“Only half the information is available to the viewer, so police officers are being unfairly judged on half-truths,” he added.
Nigel also fears the travelling public in London will be put at risk by proposed cuts in police funding by Transport for London.
He says the ‘foolhardy and reckless’ move would see a cut in 160 BTP officers patrolling the capital’s transport hubs.
“Crossrail will place an additional security and crime burden on transport policing with a large rise in passenger journeys and therefore extra profit for the train operating company,” he said.
“So, you’d think that additional police funding will be needed. That’s common sense.
“So why would TFL now propose to reduce funding for policing at other London transport hubs?
“The cut will result in the loss of 160 officers currently policing London. That’s 160 fewer police officers looking after the public.”