It Was Not Just a Child That Died as Blunkett's Bobbies Stood by - but Common Sense Itself

Daily Mail (London), September 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

It Was Not Just a Child That Died as Blunkett's Bobbies Stood by - but Common Sense Itself


DID you happen to assume, by any strange chance, that the purpose of theemergency services was to rescue people in an emergency from the prospect ofdeath or injury? Indeed. So did we all.

Well, more fool us! It '

we all.Well, more fool us! It turns out that their purpose is to avoid anythingthat puts themselves at risk - and they've got a health and safety rule bookthat says so.

The more we learn about how ten-year-old Jordon Lyon drowned in a pool in Wiganwhile two police support officers at the scene did nothing to save him, themore surreal and 'Melanie Phillips preposterous life in Britain appears to havebecome.

In any normal society, these officers would have been disciplined for failingto carry out what one might have presumed to be the essential duty of a policesupport officer, namely to protect people from harm - not to mention the basicinstinct of any decent human being to try to prevent a tragic accident.

Lethal But no - their employers, the top brass of the Greater ManchesterPolice, say they behaved perfectly correctly. This is because both the policeand fire service have instructions not to save people who are drowning.

The reasons pile absurdity upon absurdity.

Police and fire officers, we are told with the straightest of faces, are nottaught to swim or trained to save people from drowning. This apparently meansthat even if they can swim, they still have to fold their arms and stay put.

So when Sergeant Craig Lippitt, a regular police officer, attempted to rescueJordon by stripping off and diving in without hesitation, he was actuallybreaking the rules.

Last March firefighter Tam Brown, who rescued a woman from the River Tay, wasinformed he could face disciplinary action for doing so.

What on earth have we come to in this country, when attempting to savesomeone's life might be considered a disciplinary offence - in occupationswhich exist for precisely that purpose? The police and fire service jobsworthssay that such rescue attempts might result in the death of the rescuer. Trueenough; such tragedies do happen. But if we all followed that reasoning, no onewould ever try to save anyone from any danger at all.

And isn't the whole point of paying people to be police and fire officers thatthey put themselves in risky situations - for which we expect them to be fullytrained? But it seems that precisely the same reasoning prevents them frombeing trained in the first place.

Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Police were fined for breaching health andsafety laws after two 14-year-old boys died at a children's event in theswimming pool at COLUMN 'the force's training college in Hendon, North London.

Up to that point, all police recruits were taught to swim and many were trainedin life-saving. But after that tragedy, the pool was filled in and all suchtraining stopped.

And the message then went out to all emergency services: take no chances.

It echoes another case in which, after a police officer fell to his death whilechasing a suspect across a roof, the Met was prosecuted under health and safetylaws.

Although this prosecution failed, the police are now wary of chasing criminalsin case they fall foul of the law by hurting themselves.

The compensation culture has thus not only gone stark, staring mad but hasturned positively lethal. Health and safety laws have now become a menace tolife and limb.

The former Home Secretary David Blunkett, who introduced police supportofficers, has tried to explain this madness by saying that our society hasbecome averse to taking risks. But that doesn't explain why this has happened.

The answer surely lies in a far broader and deeper transformation of Britishsociety that has taken place. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

It Was Not Just a Child That Died as Blunkett's Bobbies Stood by - but Common Sense Itself
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.