Tag Archive for police

The Leith Police

The Leith Special Constabulary of 1916 look like they could dismiss us without too much bother. Tom Archibald’s book on the History of the Lothian and Borders Police doesn’t mention if this particular photograph was ever seen outside the police station – it merely states that it’s an unusual picture. Other group portraits exist which show police in front of a wall sporting earlier (of course, pace Mitch Hedberg) group portraits. I suppose it possible that such photos are taken in places with public displays of police group portraits, but it doesn’t seem very likely.

Leaving work for the weekend

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmfIuKelOt4?wmode=transparent]

If you don’t know what this two and a half minutes of rather grainy and blocky night-shot YouTube video ‘footage’ is about, you might think it odd that somebody decided to bother posting it. It’s one of those what’s that all about?, pretty much nothing without its context. As some of the comments that go with it have said, the silence – and it’s mostly silence with measured footsteps – is deafening.

It followed something shown in a rather more dramatic eight minutes of video recording events that had happened the day before. It may not be so obvious in the first couple of minutes, just more bullying by people who ought to know better, but there’s a reason the video’s that long.

The story behind it is amazing. And wonderful. A lot has happened over the past few days. Most of it will not have been covered by mainstream news. But the story these clips tell is something significant.

It’s difficult to say with any certainty that some of the police (police are people too) in these recordings are getting pretty uncomfortable with what they’re doing. That may just be a case of inferring mental states of others from only the evidence of outward appearance – never a very clever thing to do. But if the state militarises its police force in order to keep its citizens under control, it should maybe allow for the outcome that – one day – the state might end up having to deal with a militarised police force.