Sunday, June 11, 2006

Spot the difference

I used to love those spot the difference games when I was a kid. You know - two pictures of Janet and John in their perfect domestic bliss with 15 subtle differences between the two pictures for you to circle, before sending in the two pictures to get a Blue Peter badge or something. Seems you can play them on the internet now. Well here is something similar. Two pictures of the "Great British" police, purloined from the BBC. First up, PC A.N.Other accompanies Muhammad Abdul Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain when he visited Forest Gate before the weekend, in the context of the aftermath of the bungled chemical weapons raid which left one man injured and longer term will leave the police with a hefty compensation bill

Next up we have an example of the police officers who are apparently "charming" English football fans in Germany during the World Cup.

Can you spot the difference? Pretty much the same hat. Same gender and colour (still the dominant ones in the British police, of course). Slightly difference colour shirts, I grant you. And they are probably from different police forces, and therefore have on different insignia and badges.

But to me the biggest single difference is that the police officers in Germany, with their probably equally charming German counterpart, have taken off their anti-stab vests. I have to say, this is the first time I have seen a police officer, other than a plain clothes officer or someone obviously wearing dress uniform like Sir Ian Blair when facing the press, without a anti-stab vest for a long long time.

It can hardly be that those police officers are in significantly less danger than their counterparts patrolling the streets of the UK. On the contrary, I would have thought that Germany during World Cup is a place where there is a high risk of low level disturbance and, unfortunately, also a risk much more serious incidents including significant riots or fights between rival groups of fans, as well as - sadly - a terrorist attack. However, it has presumably been reasoned by someone in authority that police officers not wearing protective clothing look considerably more charming than those who are. I can only assume that the reason for the difference is something to do with perceiving the role of the police officers in Germany primarily as a propaganda exercise, and only secondarily as law enforcement officers there to protect the public.

Interesting, though, isn't it?


Blogger Sam said...

I lived in Germany last year - obviously with all those British football fans abroad there's a higher risk of such crime, but I found that violent crimes, etc, were most likely to occur within ghetto-ised minority areas.

Germany on the whole is a lot safer than the UK. (At least that's my impression, don't know how the stats bear out)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006  
Blogger alfie said...

" obviously with all those British football fans abroad there's a higher risk of such crime" -

Why is that then?

Why is it obvious? Where is the proof? Or are you content to spew forth stereotypical hyperbole for the sake of a cheap comment?

It isn't really obvious is it? Could it possibly be just your prejudicial outlook maybe?

Saturday, June 17, 2006  
Blogger BondWoman said...

Attacks upon commenters of this manner are not welcome here. Commenters are not making lengthy arguments, they are passing swift comment. Go away and do it somewhere else, "Alfie", whoever you are, or else tone down your comments.

Monday, June 19, 2006  
Blogger Sam said...

I think it's fairly obvious that if you get two opposing sets of supporters there's more likely to be discord. Whether it's a war or a football tournament.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006  

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