With more videos surfacing showing police brutality at the G20 protests, there are questions being asked about how the police are operating in this country.
Firstly the case of Ian Tomlinson who died minutes after being the victim of an unprovoked attacked by a masked Police Officer with his identification number removed. A second postmortem on Ian Tomlinson showed he died from internal bleeding, not a heart attack as was first announced. The officer responsible is now being questioned under suspicion of manslaughter.
Then the Sergeant seen to slap a female protester around the face and knock her to the ground with his baton has been suspended. Now video of a riot officer smashing his shield into the face of a protester and officers punching demonstraters surfaces and these are just the ones that have been caught on camera.
Complaints of police beatings away from cameras at the sleep in Climate Camp abound and with the other footage to gauge opinion by, you have to come to the conclusion that police thuggery was rife at that event also .
Days after the G20 events, police carried out a pre-emptive raid on environmental campaigners and arresting 114 people believed to planning action at a coal-fired power station. Seems you don't even have to break the law to be arrested in this country anymore, you only have to be thought of doing something wrong at some point in the future.
Of the 12 students arrested in a blaze of publicity recently, 1 has been released without charge and counterterrorist sources admitted that despite intensive surveillance and exhaustive searches of addresses, they had uncovered no definite evidence for an alleged plot.
In 2006, Police apologised to two brothers wrongly arrested on suspicion of terrorism, one of whom was shot during the raid on their home and this came just after the tragic police debacle which ended up with the death of the innocent Brazilian Jean Charles De Menzes.
Yes police do have a tough job but the thought that the police are going to start arresting people pre-emptivly or removing their identification numbers and cover their faces to hand out brutal beatings when they think nobody is watching is frightening. As is the thought that when they do get it wrong, they apply the whitewash and cover up any wrongdoing.
The head of the police watchdog, Nick Hardwick, has called for a national debate about police tactics in the light of all these events saying: "It's got to be a democratic political question about how do we want to be policed?"
Not with incompetence and brutal thuggery would be a great start.