In a recent issue of The Police Review, the semi-official organ of Britain’s policemen, the magazine complained that police involved in this private-lives work did not have enough legal protection.
The magazine said: “It may be that the information – in police possession – would not support a prosecution; it may not even relate to a chargeable offence, or it may be a matter of strong suspicion without proof.
“In one force, a schoolteacher was seen frequently loitering near public toilets and another was known to have a private library of obscene books.”
What the big-brother cops do usually is to report on this sort of nasty habit to the education authority that employs the teacher only if he (the teacher) commits a criminal offence.
What they don’t like is the fact that if the reports were made without a prosecution the teachers could sue the public eyes for libel.
The magazine adds on the cottaging teacher and the one who had a library of wank-material: “As there was no prosecution in either case, one presumes that the (education) authority remains unaware and the teachers continue to be in charge of young people.”
The Police Review stretches its moral tests to take in foster parents, adoptive parents and medical staff.
But in a rare flash of fairness The Police Review says it isn’t fair to wreck someone’s career by whispering in his employers’ ear. That, the magazine says, would be “contrary to natural justice.”
Instead what the police would like to do, it says, is to take the ‘deviant’ public employee aside and make him an offer he can’t refuse, so he either changes his behaviour or resigns.
Somehow the magazine has forgotten entirely the old forgotten rule of British justice that you’re not guilty until proved so.