UK Cops Threaten Facebook Users With Arrest After They Mock Department's Tiny Drug Bust
from the small-minds-with-smaller-ideas dept
Thickness of skin appears to be inversely proportional to the amount of power one has. This has been shown again and again. It often makes high-powered “victims” appears as though the only reason they entered public service was to punish the public for its lack of respect. The lesson never learned is that abuse of power never results in a respect net gain.
Because this lesson is seemingly impossible to learn, we get things like this. The West Yorkshire Police proudly announced the smallest of drug busts on its Facebook page.
PCSO 687 Ian Campbell and PCSO 882 Ben Hughes attended Walton colliery nature park and seized a small quantity of Cannabis from a young man who was parked up alone.
Walton Colliery nature park will be firmly on our patrol plan in the future to prevent this behaviour.
For this, it was mocked. And rightfully so! Who cares if you busted some dude with his personal stash of weed? Good for you, I guess, but the general public is mostly of the opinion this should be legal and seldom finds enforcement of laws it doesn’t agree with grounds for commendation. This should have come as no surprise to the West Yorkshire Police.
Instead of doing nothing, the Police did this. (h/t Alex Griswold)
Unfortunately we have had to ban a number of people from using this page today. I would like to remind everyone that this is a Police page and whatever your thoughts on one of my officers seizing drugs in the community, being insulting, abusive or offensive can and will result in a prosecution under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
We will not overlook the significant harm that illegal drugs cause to our communities. We know from experience that this can progress from using what are perceived to be recreational drugs to more addictive and harmful substances and the resulting criminality used to fund their continued use.
Please use this page with respect or you will be banned and maybe even prosecuted
Police Inspector Martin Moizer.
First off, the Police did not “have” to ban anybody from the page. The mockery could have laid beside the accolades as an object lesson about interacting with the public re: pitifully small drug busts announced with the same gravity as the apprehension of an armed robbery suspect. (“firmly in our patrol plan” lol)
Second, fuck you. That law isn’t there to protect the powerful from the powerless. But when you craft a law that can be used this way, it guarantees it WILL be used this way. And the law doesn’t say what the law enforcement officer says it does (SHOCKER). It actually says this act is illegal:
Offence of sending letters etc. with intent to cause distress or anxiety.
If any officers were distressed or anxious because locals dragged them a bit for peacocking their tiny pot bust, they’re in the wrong field of work. Facebook commenters pale in comparison to the invective routinely hurled at officers during the course of the day, often delivered in person by someone on the receiving end of an arrest. And that’s even less anxiety-raising or distressing than the sticks-and-stones equivalents (knives, mostly) suspects might bring to bear against officers of the law. “Words may never hurt me,” say the police, as they seek to use others people’s words to hurt them.
Finally, there’s the idiotic claim about gateway drug use, one that has been repeatedly found false. Busting people for smoking weed in a park isn’t going to do anything to stop the trafficking of harder drugs or the “resulting criminality” involved in their distribution. Not only is the West Yorkshire Police willing to abuse a law to silence critics, it also wants everyone to believe they reside in a magical dystopia where minor pot busts in a nature park somehow accomplishes something of value to society as a whole.