Typical; the media get hold of a story and the government acts. Now they are doing
something..supposedly. But what are they really doing. In the BBC news article, Deputy Lord
Lieutenant of Bristol David John said: "The mood has changed since the 80s, when there was a
feeling the police were occupying areas like St Pauls. Now local residents want to help." Why
do I get the feeling that the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Bristol doesn't live in St.Pauls. Why
I do I see the warnings flashed by residents every time a police car ventures into the area.
Yes I don't like walking past crack dealers and discarded needles. Yes our community needs
help, but this? It's a PR exercise. I remember the only time a significant police presence
was in Easton was the during the count of the Vote Nobody Campaign. I remember the amount of
police they trotted out for the demonstrations by local residents had against the rapes and
muggings at junction 3 of the M32: Police with cameras videoing all the residents. If the
police are treated like they are occupying St.Pauls it's because they act like it. When one
resident living near the notorious Black & White cafe reported and incident out side her home,
the was asked to go out side and get those involved's names and addresses. How helpful. They
expect residents to do the job they are paid for unarmed, yet when the media spotlight
threatens they blaze into the area like a SWAT team on reality TV.
The weapon the police are carrying is a Steyr AUG machine gun originally designed for the
Austrian military. They cost about Â£3000 each excluding training and maintenance. That's
Â£6000 worth of ordinance in this photo alone. This is the war on drugs in full effect. I
remember when residents asked for some money to build a community garden near Ashley Hill.
They were told there was no money. Now we know why. Yes I don't like the damage drugs is
doing to where I live, but you'd think that after 50 years of these 'War on Drugs' policies it
might be time to consider something else? Something a bit more radical, because the
powers-that-be's plans seem to consist of either armed cops or developer-based bulldozing of
the community. Neither will work and it will be those of us living in St.Paus who will have to
live with the year-on-year failure of the government, police, media and business fraternities
inability to solve social problems.