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*****Exclusive – Sergeant Twining talks to Robin from Bent Society*****

September 24, 2008

This week I dressed up in a cape to negotiate my way through the forests of Nottinghamshire. There in Sherwood I met up with my mate Robin from Bent Society. He wore a cape too, funny thing is he was not  stopped to account, I was. As we sat under the Oak trees we pondered on academia and Nottinghamshire. This is what Robin had to say.  

Q OK, Robin you are from Notts? Why on earth would someone live and work around there when it is considered the gun crime capital?

A I’m a criminologist. In the 1930’s in the USA the word famous Chicago school of criminology did some of the best criminology ever seen – for a reason…it was not Cambridge or Oxford!

Q You mean you are not middle class, good on you. Do you really really think Notts is dealing effectively with gun and gang crime. Explain.

A I can’t answer that one I’m afraid – it seems to be contained. I get concerned when I see drug dealing and gangs operating with impunity.  When gang bangers can stand on our streets and openly commit offences like Nottingham prostitutes do in “red light areas” then I’ll worry about that. Meanwhile could someone please let the Chief Constable of Notts know that street level prostitution is both a downstream consequence and an underlying cause of drug and acquisitive offending – and so ultimately gang crime. If she lived in Mapperley Park would it be a Red Light area? I don’t think so!

Q I have to say I think the Chief Constable of Notts is an avid admirer of my blog. She promotes is vigorously. She reads it regularly, there is a direct feed to her posh offices. And I have no doubt she’s heard what you have to say, what she does with that information, well that’s another question. What would be the first thing you would change if you were made Commissioner.

A If I was Chief Constable of Nottingham I’d sort out the Red Light areas. I’d close them down and I’d shut down the brothels where trafficked and other vulnerable women are held. Send a message and make sure it stays that way. Where do the working girls get the drugs from after all and who profits from it – can you get crack on the NHS? It’s a disgrace to see our police cars driving past “working girls” and do nothing. I’ve studied this in great depth – I know about the complexities and every other argument. And for me it boils down at the end of the day to this one simple thing: If the Chief constable lived in a red light area – it would not remain a red light area? The police are not doing the job they are paid for if they allow this abuse of residents and women to continue. I know the son of an ex-Nottingham Chief Constable (he’s in his seventies now) and living in Mapperley Park (red light area in Nottingham). Had his father done something about this issue in his day his now elderly son would not be suffering. Something for our Chief Constable to think about perhaps? OK now I’ll answer the question – If I was Commissioner of the Met then the first thing I’d do is retire. I’m no good at that level internal politics. I’d not want to work for such an important organisation that put me in charge of it. I think I’d be a cause of riots.                                         

Q Oo I so totally agree. You mean there are drug dealers in Mapperley Park. , I just don’t think Mapperley Park is the type of area a CC would want to live in, but then these people can by themselves out of the poorer areas, so it’s not a real real problem that the lesser classes have to live there. Who is your Met dream team Dr? 

A I think I’d need to recruit from outside the Met – Marcus Felson and Ron Clarke (wise old sages and Problem solving Criminologists who will listen and then advise), Ray Mallon (Robocop – to do the dirty work), Someone to keep Ray safe from himself. (You Twining and someone of your choosing). Someone to tackle knife crime …who do we know who has been stabbed in the back recently and wants the job? Other than that – I’m not a police officer so what do I know? 

A I am humbled to be in your Met dream team. Oo-er, besides me I would want you, DC Nightjack, a Inspector I know when he’s prepared to listen to some of us too. I also operate by the 4, 4, 2 route. Two Chiefs, forget the DCC, four ACC’s, and 4 Criminologists. I would of course create a post for me, write it up, and sit there, not that that happens at all. So I would operate a 4,4,2,1. What is this Bent Society phenomenon?

A Bent Society is all about the fact that we often ask young offenders to make reparation to society for their wrong doing – but in reality that’s completely hypocritical because society is fundamentally bent and made them so. The blog reveals all the bentness and asks whether it sets a good example for others – The aim is to hold a mirror up to all those “zero tolerance types” who are part of the problem: politicians demanding but showing no respect, businesses that generate theft as crime mongers: pawnbrokers, jewellers, scrap dealers, second-hand dealers, local papers advertising brothels and scams, eBay – and the buying public. Debt mongering banks etc etc.

Q I like you all in BS but who are angrydave and anonymous?

A Angry Dave is a thoughtful prison officer. Anonymous – I think he or she is legion.

Q I think Wench is a legion too. Tell me more about wench on your blog and Friar Tuck?

A Wench and Tuck are both academic criminologists… locals. Part of our merry band. Can’t say more – it’s a secret.

Q Oh deary me, academic criminologists, I can’t even pronounce those words in one sentence, sounds like these are important people, Tuck has a funny hair do and wench is rather cute. Why do you think the subject of race is important to policing in the future? 

A Institutional racism, recruitment, retention and promotion. We ALL want to see more good Black and Asian Officers in our police services. We want them to engage with minority ethnic communities as well as White and Mixed and we want them to be treated properly in the Police services. Our police should reflect our country…and help to shape it.

Q You mean IR exists? How would you review The Twining Chronicles?

A That’s a tough one. It’s written for police officers by a police officer. I’m not a police buff I’m afraid. That said, I think it might benefit by having a couple of other officers join you – White and Black perhaps? I know that having others on the blog makes Bent Society better than it would be if it was just me rattling on and on and on every day about my stuff. No offence Sarge!

Q Are you saying I’m rattling. All I want is some peace and tea. Do you think police bloggers are assisting the understanding of race or not?

A Actually I despair at some of the overt nasty and stealth racism that I see on many police blogs.

Q What do you mean Dr? You and me both professor, Dr, Robin, you and me both, I just think the real feelings are coming out here now.   Hey, at least there’s a Dr that feels the same.

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