22:15 GMT12 August 2020
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    The UK has Been Woefully Inadequate

    Shooting from the Lip
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    Jon Gaunt’s guest this week is former Met Police Commander and Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Kevin Hurley.

    Kevin and Jon start by discussing Boris Johnson’s plan to make the wearing of masks in shops mandatory, Kevin believes that it is, “simply not realistic to expect police officers to be outside every shop in the country.”

    However, he welcomes the wearing of masks saying, “it is too late but better late then never, but should have been brought in right from the beginning.”

    Overall, he is pretty damming of the handling of the pandemic, “I do think the management of the spread has been woefully inadequate and too slow. Boris shaking hands and bragging about it was real crass leadership of the highest order.”

    Although he believes that Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, “has played a blinder throughout” he feels that “Boris has been really poor and frankly weak.”

    On the Black Lives Matter protests he believes the response has been “very disappointing and once again weak. The key narrative should have been we are in the middle of a pandemic please do not gather in large groups. Please stay at home.”

    He states categorically that the “Police simply do not have money or numbers to stop large scale demos anymore.” However, he says that the MSM could have helped by not talking up the demos and the reasons for it.

    Kevin firmly believes that “the pandemic has to be the main concern for the country at the moment it comes before anything else.”

    He talks about his experience of policing in Iraq and compares it to the handling of the riots in London and Bristol but states that, “the role of the police is to never indicate support for any political cause including BLM."

    On coppers running away from the mob at the lockdown parties in London he says “it’s not a new thing but my own personal mantra was always we rule the streets, they don’t.”

    He says that it is “totally unacceptable for the Police not to immediately take the ground back. The real community are the people standing on their balconies or living in fear in their homes and flats.”

    He believes that the top cops “need to relearn the tactics we learnt after 1985 and 2011 when the police were defeated in rioting.”

    He says that there is a need for a “more robust attitude” and he is a firm believer in zero tolerance policing. He states “do something wrong and there has to be a consequence.”

    This is a fascinating interview with a man who has been the heart of public order events and policing at the sharp end. It will get you thinking about what kind of police and policing we want in the UK.

    Boris Johnson, BLM
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