Saturday 18 June 2016

Taxi For Police Scotland

Police and Glasgow City Council have revealed their new weapon against child abuse and sex exploitation - taxi drivers.

Taxi drivers are well known for being the eyes and ears of our communities so they are being trained how to spot vulnerable youngsters.

This is one story where I'll refrain from the usual round of jokes about taxi drivers not being trustworthy enough to take the shortest route when the meter is running never mind taking on responsibility for such a serious matter as child protection.

I'll even refrain from criticising Police Scotland for getting taxi drivers to do their job for them.

It's a great idea and I fully welcome it. Anything that helps protect our children is absolutely worth doing. Absolutely.

But the big story for me here is that Police Scotland automatically assume that taxi drivers will want to help them.

Now I'm sure they will. Especially when the welfare of children is concerned.

But Police Scotland need to be reminded that they cannot just expect the public to help and support them when they need it - because police do not help and support the public when we need it. What goes around comes around.

Taxi drivers have long memories. They remember all the times you 'moved them on', tried to give them a ticket, fined them, put points on their licence, threatened their livelihood and generally aggravated them for the most menial of minor violations just so you could act like bullies and reach your charge targets.

On this occasion Police Scotland are lucky.

Taxi drivers I speak to are willing to help police on this one because it involves child protection.

But under any other circumstances members of the public, taxi drivers included, are prone to tell police to go take a hike rather than help them.

Sadly Police Scotland will NEVER get it.

When you alienate the public and turn otherwise law abiding members of the public in to criminals just so you can fill your charge sheets, throw your authority around, and act like 'big men' you need to realise that when it comes to your hour of need the public will turn their back on you.

You won't always be as successful getting the public on your side as you were with this one Police Scotland.

Think yourselves lucky this time.