Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Thou shalt not show the pictures

THE PSNI received a rap over their collective knuckles after they used pictures of kiddiwinkles who might have been involved in ‘public disorder’ in the Maiden City.

Some might have said it was just a picture of an average night in Stroke City, but the PSNI went as far as sending the local pictures to the papers and printed a leaflet of the snaps and shoving them through doors far and wide.

Now the Policing Board’s human rights people have told the PSNI that this was very naughty (no not rioting, printing the pictures!).

This, of course, touches upon a fundamental schism in our society. The knee jerk reaction of many a talk show caller is to say that the wee so and sos should be locked up. The liberal left worries that the young un’s getting their picture plastered across the streets could infringe on some sort or right, or lead them to be on the receiving end of a paramilitary beating.

For once, both sides are right. Where a crime is committed those that do the dastardly deed, must expect to face the rigour of the law, but at the same time the principle of being innocent until proven guilty must apply.

If the PSNI require a well distributed picture gallery to nobble a few young people throwing bricks and other missiles then the level of intelligence on the ground (and high resolution cameras) must be truly woeful.

And if parents are content that their offspring are involved in civil disobedience (i.e. bucking bricks at peelers) then dysfunctional families are more common than anyone expected.

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