Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The power of the blog?

One of the most popular UK police bloggers, Inspector Gadget, has prompted an article in a national newspaper. He highlighted a case a while back where a young off-duty officer was beaten into a vegetative state by a couple of teenage thugs. A year on from the attack, the officer is unlikely to ever recover, having effectively lost any normal semblance of life, while the custodial sentences of the two offenders was reduced considerably on appeal. Inspector Gadget's original post created a huge debate, almost 200 comments to date, of incredibly varying views. It was also highlighted and linked to by various other police bloggers.

As Inspector Gadget points out, police blogs are usually banned. Ones that exist often disappear or end up in the 'police blogger's graveyard', but all have to remain anonymous. It's really interesting that one police blogger has managed to start a debate and prompt wider coverage of an issue in the national media. I'm wondering how far rebel police bloggers (for want of a better phrase!!) could theoretically take an issue... it starts with a single blog post, then national press coverage... public outrage... where next? Very interesting to see how far a snowball effect could lead, as it completely bypasses both official police communication channels and established political routes for instigating change.

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