The debate over police tactics on the Isle of Man, in the wake of an outbreak of apparently nationalist inspired graffiti, continues to provoke debate and controversy.
Following our publication of the experiences of a young man stopped by Police near Ballacraine, in the west of the Island, at Christmas, a member of the legislature has also voiced concerns.
Writing in an article comments column of Isle of Man newspapers, Member of the Legislative Council (MLC), Juan Turner, expresses his view that the police should aspire to be a community force. Mr Turner said:
“I fully agree with Mr Moffatt about needing a Community Police Force. Having been at a function one evening a year or so ago, it was a really cold but fine clear night so I made the 3.5 mile walk home in the early hours of the morning having left the car at home. Whilst walking along Peel Road on the pavement opposite the Milestone garage, a police van drove across the road, stopped – facing the wrong way up the road and started questioning me as to where I was going, where I had been and who I was. Why they felt the need to come tearing across the carriageway like some emergency I really don’t know. It was rather intimidating and high handed, especially as there was two of them and one of me. Had I have told them to mind their own business I’m sure that they would have found a reason to put me in the van – because that is how they operate. I don’t accept the old excuse that ‘we are just being vigilant’, there is a difference between that and just being a general nuisance to the public.”
(The full text can be accessed on the link below):
However, some attitudes on the Island are more trenchant and the MLC was immediately taken to task by an anonymous contributor who asks him caustically:
“I take it next time you get assaulted or have your house burgled you wont bother calling the police. Police officers are supposed to ask questions and if you are wandering around at 3am on Peel Road next to industrial estates that have been burgled you will get stopped and asked what you are up to.”
Sadly Mr Turner’s critic seems unaware that the most famous burglary of industrial premises on Peel Road in Douglas was committed by a group of Police Officers themselves back in the 1980s, who gave a whole new meaning to the term `late night shopping’.