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Didn't these guys see Die Hard?

If there's one thing I learned from watching Bruce Willis in his breakthrough role, it was this: Never go after terrorists without a good pair of shoes.

Which makes this item in the Sun (via Fark) all the more unbelievable:

POLICE have been told they must show respect by taking their SHOES OFF before raiding the homes of Muslim terror suspects.

It was one of 18 rules laid down in new guidelines for officers in Luton — a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.
Showing respect is nice, but not if it hinders your ability to do your job. I hope none of these shoeless cops have to chase a fleeing suspect outside in their stocking feet.


comrade_tovarich said...

A while ago I heard a story about a Korean former champion martial artist who was studying in the US. He was a big senpai; to the other Koreans in his dorm and often used to get drunk then rough them up, usually playfully. The police were, however, called a few times to settle the guy down after complaints. As I was told the story, one night a pair of cops, one very fresh, came to the guy's room, hands on firearms (reputation preceded the guy). The Koreans in the room, including the big guy, were all seriously drunk and started yelling at them in Korean; eventually, one said, "Take off your shoes!" The fresh young cop started to, at which point the older one explained to him, impolitely, that they were there for business, and they  were the ones to be doing the telling of what to do. In the end, the Koreans settled down and the police left. 

Posted by Comrade_Tovarich

Anonymous said...

I suspect that the Sun's reporting is either sloppy or incomplete. They're not exactly known as a bastion of credibility. If this is truly the rule for all raids, it's unforgivably dumb, but I'd be very surprised if that's actually the case.

Remember, "raid" sometimes means politely knocking on the door, showing a warrant, and looking around for evidence, and in those cases not removing one's shoes would be needlessly rude. I'd be pretty pissed if police tromped around my house wearing shoes unless it were really urgent, and it is standard procedure for Japanese cops to remove their shoes unless they are in hot pursuit or expect violence.

I got a giggle out of the mental image of a SWAT team politlely removing their shoes before kicking a door in, though. 

Posted by Big Ben

Anonymous said...

An article  in the Daily Mail  backs up the Sun's report:

Leaked guidelines from the Bedfordshire force say that when officers raid Muslim homes they should remove their shoes, not use dogs and not mount pre-dawn raids because at that hour people might by 'spiritually busy'.

And I wouldn't rush to hold up Japanese police procedures (see here and here) as the global ideal. 

Posted by Gaijin Biker

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about a global ideal? My point is that police in cultures that have a custom of removing footwear have no problem at all doing their jobs effectively (or at least no problem related to shoes--neither of the articles about Japanese police you cite mention that the cops were shoeless.) Showing people basic respect in their own homes is usually a good idea.

Again, I would be willing to bet that the rules refer only to raids where there is no likelihood of resistance, otherwise the rule is too stupid to imagine that even the most bleedingheart police chief would agree to it. I suspect we're not getting the whole story here. 

Posted by Big Ben

Anonymous said...

The Luton police guidelines are good example of how law enforcement professionals understand that the terrorist threat comes from a tiny minority within the Muslim community and that it is crucial to avoid fomenting sympathy for the murderers' cause by displaying a disregard for Muslims in general.
Law enforcement professionals also apply that understanding in their opposition to racial and ethnic profiling.
Racial profiling doesn't work because it takes the focus away from monitoring and observing BEHAVIOR and, instead, puts resources and attention on monitoring physical appearance. Racial profiling may actually encourage terrorism because it sends the message to the 99.99 percent of peace-loving Muslims that they are terrorist suspects, a sure way to expand solidarity for actual terrorists.
One measure of the lack of intellectual integrity among supporters of racial profiling is their assertion that opposition to it is based on misguided notions of fairness, rather than on its demonstrated ineffectiveness. The data are in and the professionals who've analyzed it have spoken; racial profiling doesn't work.
It seems reasonable to question the motives of those who insist racial or ethnic profiling must be implemented.

Posted by bunkerbuster



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