Saturday, May 27, 2017

Armed police on the streets of Leicester

There are no immediate plans to deploy military personnel on to the streets of Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland, the Leicester Mercury reported yesterday.

I can't speak for Uppingham or Oakham, but I did not see any troops in Leicester today.

What I did see were police armed with automatic weapons.

If this was a response to the level of terrorist threat, then fair enough. But if it was meant to be reassuring, then in my case it failed.

I suspect it is a generational thing. I am old enough to imagine I remember the England of Gideon and Dixon of Dock Green - a country where we were proud that our police did not carry guns.

Seeing those weapons just reminds me how much things have changed. (Somehow the decades of Irish Republican terrorist attacks on the mainland get forgotten in this reaction.)

Someone younger than me, without that baggage, would have taken it more in their stride or even have had the reaction the authorities desire.

But these things are very personal. I work with someone who grew up in Northern Ireland. He says the sight of armed police makes him feel nostalgic.

No comments: