Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 10th June 2020

10th June 2020

10th June 2020

Crime in Wiltshire may have fallen overall by 25 per cent in recent months, but it has still been a particularly tough few days for police officers in Salisbury, who have attended major incidents involving the tragic deaths of two people in Wessex Road and a stabbing in Porton.

In addition to that, we saw the shocking attack on an officer, bitten in broad daylight in Elizabeth Gardens.

Our police are always there for us, never knowing what challenging and traumatic situations their work may bring them into contact with.

And now, across the country, the police face the difficult task of balancing personal sympathy for the cause of Black Lives Matter protesters and respect for the right to peaceful protest with their duty to uphold the social distancing rules that are there to protect the lives of all our friends and neighbours – the elderly, the vulnerable and key frontline workers.

To me, it is self-evident that black lives matter and it beggars belief that any officer could treat anyone in the way we saw George Floyd treated in Minneapolis.

Racism is a problem wherever it exists in the hearts of individuals and it behoves us all to take this moment as a reminder to renew our determination to call it out whenever we see it and to prosecute the perpetrators with the full force of the law.

But it was still deeply disappointing to see mass gatherings across the country, in contravention of social distancing.

I thank everyone who had the good sense to register their hurt and disgust online or in small socially distanced gatherings.

At least in Salisbury, protests were peaceful, but elsewhere we saw anger tip over into vandalism that does absolutely nothing to advance the cause of racial equality.

Defacing the statue of Winston Churchill was simply a criminal act for which there can be no excuse.

In Bristol, I understand discussions about relocating or rebranding the statue of Colston had reached advanced stages before. A simple local vote to remove it would have been a democratic way to express modern day revulsion at one aspect of the city’s past, as well as being more in keeping with the respectful society the protesters say they want to see.

I am continuing to work hard on Treasury and constituency matters but I will definitely be pausing to watch the drama on the Novichok incident, which hits our TV screens on Sunday.

It was a painful episode for Salisbury and it might not be the easiest watch but I hope it is a positive portrayal of our city and that it gives a true account of the public service of those who were involved with the aftermath of the poisonings.

Posted by John Glen at 9:30am

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