BACK in 2014 the police announced that they were ‘relaxing’ their rules on recruitment to allow convicted criminals to join.
In fact, this just legitimised a widespread practice.
The Metropolitan police had for a long time before been recruiting convicted criminals into its ranks and this was extended to all forces throughout the country who were encouraged to adopt these ‘softer rules’.
At the time, the police insisted that only those people with very minor offences and who openly admitted them would be allowed to join, most certainly no one guilty of sexual or violent offences or major acts of criminality would be allowed in.
Relaxation was justified by the police on the grounds that the barring of criminals was ‘keeping potentially valuable people’ from joining. This week, however, it emerged that amongst these potentially valuable recruits were people with criminal records for fraud, arson, serious violence, drug offences and sex crimes.
A freedom of information request by The Daily Telegraph revealed that within the past three years, the Metropolitan Police took on new recruits with records for actual bodily harm (ABH), multiple possession of the drug cocaine, drunk and disorderly, and assault.
The Metropolitan Police also recruited a convicted sex offender. All these recruits, including the sex offender, are still serving officers. Other police forces around the country were forced to reveal that they were also happily recruiting thieves, fraudsters and arsonists.
A dozen constabularies had recruited 78 officers with criminal records for serious offences with Avon and Somerset Police employing four officers with prior convictions for theft, fraud and one with a history of arson and criminal damage.
Criminal convictions were not confined to the lower ranks of constable or special constable. In Surrey, 30 serving officers ranging in rank from constable to detective superintendent had convictions or cautions.
The revelations that convicted sex offenders are being recruited have caused outrage especially as one of the Met’s serving officers, Wayne Couzens, has been charged with the murder of Sarah Everard who was kidnapped on Clapham Common in March.
Outrage was compounded by police using violence to break up demonstrations protesting about violence to women. At the same time, police forces were recruiting known criminals and sex offenders, it was sending its officers out as undercover spies to infiltrate and spy on legal political organisations, protest movements and trade unions.
This week, the public inquiry into police spies heard that an undercover police officer sent to infiltrate the Troops Out Movement (TOM) in the 1970s actually rose to become the organisation’s national organiser.
During a two-year deployment in TOM, this cop, using the fake name of Rick Gibson, was in a position to influence the activities of what is a legal political organisation in the interests of the state.
In the course of his infiltration Gibson deceived a number of women into a sexual relationship.
One of the women, known only as Mary, told the inquiry that Gibson used ‘sex … as a way of ingratiating his way into the group as a whole’ to the extent that he could influence the appointment of individuals to leading positions.
This was not just infiltrating but an attempt by the British state to take over and direct what was a legal political organisation that was targeted for campaigning for British troops to get out of the north of Ireland.
The police force which welcomes violent criminals, arsonists and convicted sex offenders will be granted under the Tories’ Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill’s draconian powers to stamp on any protest or demonstration that threatens the security of the capitalist state.
The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill approved last year gives these same police immunity from any crimes committed by officers, including murder, rape and torture – in other words granting a licence to kill for a police force that fills its ranks with convicted criminals.
There is only one way to put an end to the violence and criminality of the police and that is to smash the capitalist state, disbanding its police and army and replacing it with a workers’ state and socialism.