I wrote this in response to the fatal fillibustering of the glade festival by hampshire police and published it on facebook where apon it mysteriously became unavailable. so here it is and here it will stay .
Hello Professional Standards Board,
I am writing to you to express my concern at the conduct of the hampshire police force in regard to the policing of glade festival.
I appreciate that for hampshire police the glade festival must be quite a headache , however i and many others believe that it is of vital importance to our culture that gatherings such as this proceed and do so with the support and assistance of OUR police force .
I am concerned that the policing of festivals has moved to a prohibitionist stance which is aimed at creating so much red tape that its near impossible to put on an event. Whilst I'm not asking you to confirm this , my own experiences in festival organization bare this out and this has become widely accepted as your modus operandi.
This is a dangerous and deeply unfair way look at what should be providing a public service to the public that is paid for by the public. I don't believe the police should be allowed to veto festivals as its not for them to say , if it costs you a lot to police then ask the government for more money or stop policing the wrong things.
Glade festival represents one part of a colossal effort by enormous network of incredible people who have gone to great lengths to find a situation where it is safe for people to enjoy loud , exciting and often transcendental music. For a lot of us this is our religion and culture yet you treat it like a game we play to wind you up , this is deeply disrespectful but its ok we can forgive you.
Like it or not raving is part of our culture as much as cricket , theater or even drinking beer is , these activities we now hold dear but at first patrons of these habits also received a similar level of distrust and misunderstanding from those who had not allowed themselves to really experience what it was about.
I am worried that you are not seeing the bigger picture of what these events represent and that you are bogged down in the day to day tangle of health and safety legislation .
Whilst it is certainly important to ensure that risks are kept to a minimum it is also of just as great import that peoples freedom to express their wilder side be fostered when an appropriate environment such as glade festival has been created.
Further , its is at events such as glade that the public gets to vent its energy and let off some pressure of modern living . in this respect i am confident that festivals such as glade save or improve the quality of many lives by giving them a safe way to release much pent up aggression through dance .
A major step that could be taken to make these events safer would be to legalize recreational drugs , this would almost completely remove the criminal element from these events and put a majority of the participants on the same side as the police .
I understand that this is a big philosophical leap for you to make and so would like to remind you of how difficult it was for us to grasp the philosophy of health and safety legislation. Yet we have and we spend a large part of our budgets and our planning time sorting this out to the detriment of our core activities.
come on meet us halfway and make your jobs a whole lot easier.
I wanted to make this letter as positive as possible but i feel it would be remiss of me to not mention that by stopping big organized festivals like this you will create many more smaller disorganized ones which will be tainted with hatred for the police , thus not only giving yourselves more and harder work to do but endangering the lives of people who just want to party safely but have no where to go that is not some bland corporate ripoff of what should be our reality.
This is in direct opposition to your oath of office and it will not be long before this is taken up in court or our newly reformed parliament.
We are younger than you , we are older than you , our older members do not retire like yours do and we recruit far more young people than you ever could , do the maths , we will win not just because we are the future but because we are deeply rooted in the past as well. work with us we are not going away.
I have posted this letter publicly and would very much welcome your responses to it which i would like to share with the wider community as this concerns us all.
Yours sincerely Amias Channer
i got this response the next day
Dear Mr Channer,
Attached is the Hampshire Police response to the Glade festival cancellation, which I hope will give you some context to the situation.
Please contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
Steve Baxter Chief Inspector 1 O C U Operations 641 387 07810 852525
so i responded thusly
Thank you for your response , you haven't addressed any of the points raised in my letter which would have been the polite thing to do.
Your press release makes the assertion that the festival could have gone ahead despite the delays the police imposed on it , i find that very hard to believe that the glade organisers would have canceled their event (at considerable expense to themselves) if it had not been made impossible to continue.
I would like to escalate this complaint to the level where i am directly accusing hampshire police force of conspiring to prevent this festival for non lawfull reasons and in doing so have occasioned a serious lack of professional standards.
I raise this complaint without frivolity or vexation but with upmost seriousness and in the interests of preserving human rights . I would appreciate it you where to respond in the same manner.
Please advise me on my next step in having my complaint processed.
Yours Sincerely Amias Channer
and then they said ....Dear Mr Channer
I acknowledge receipt of your recent correspondence received into this department on 17th May 2010.
I am sorry you have not received the level of service you expected from Hampshire Constabulary and will ensure we respond to your concerns as soon as possible.
I have forwarded your details to the Operational Command Unit responsible for policing in the area concerned in order that enquiries can be made into the circumstances you describe and you will be contacted shortly.
In the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.
so there we have it , send them letters and demand a specific response and they will have to examine the case . If enough of us do it this can turn in to a proper public enquiry with our questions being asked instead of theirs.