Thursday, January 30, 2014

UK police are corporate mercenaries

As agents of the state, the police are supposed to act as neutral enforcers of the law. Unfortunately, in the UK they are now acting as the paid mercenaries of big corporations:

The lord chief justice has warned police that they risk damaging their image of independence after Scotland Yard acted on behalf of big business in a private prosecution during which they received a promise of money.

Virgin Media offered the Metropolitan police a 25% share of compensation recovered from fraudsters the company had targeted in a private prosecution, in which the Met used its powers of arrest and search as part of the private prosecution.

Lord Thomas said it was essential that ministers, police chiefs and those supposed to hold them to account gave "very urgent consideration" to the practice.

So, do you think strikers or protesters will receive justice and fair treatment from police next time they're involved in a dispute with Virgin Media? Yeah, right. The British police work for those who pay them. And then they wonder why people have no respect for them...

(And now I'm curious. Does this happen here? Do NZ businesses pay the NZ police for services rendered? If so, how much, what for, and how does this possibly fit with their legal role?)