Writing in The Times today, the comissioner for the Metropolitan Police defends forthcoming legislation to allow the police to intercept emails by saying that for him, “policing… is about a Total War on crime”. (£)
According to Wikipedia, Total War involves “less differentiation between combatants and civilians than in other conflicts, and sometimes no such differentiation at all“.
So it seems, in comissioner Hogan-Howe’s view, a bit of collateral damage with civilians getting caught up in the conflict is OK. To me, if that’s the case then the police have failed: they are supposed to be protecting the general population, not dragging us into their conflicit with the criminals.
If Hogan-Howe needs to use the failure of his own police force to justify draconian new powers for the police, then something has gone very wrong with policing in this country. We do not yet know the contents of the snoopers bill, to be revealed later today, but so far these are worrying noises.