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TV star speaks out in support of police

TV personality Nick Knowles is encouraging people to say thank you to police officers, instead of constantly criticising.

In a piece written for the Daily Express, he called on MPs to 'turn up when police safety is being discussed in the Commons', urged the press to stop taking 'cheap shots' at the service, before finally calling on the public to 'occasionally thank' officers.

He wrote the piece after speaking to a detective who was leaving her job on mental health grounds.

"Everyone hates the police," she stated. So, intent on proving her wrong, Nick posted something about it on social media and he received numerous anti-police responses.

He then joined police anonymous blogspots and Twitter feeds and spoke to officers at the Police Bravery Awards.

He writes: "I listened and what I found was a force at a dangerously low ebb - beaten down, under financial and manpower pressures, unsupported by Government, abused, attacked in the press and without any sign of public support.

"At a time when they are needed most, the people who man the line between good and bad, literally keep us safe and run toward what we run away from, feel disrespected and unloved."

He touches on Hillsborough and the fact officers know they have a responsibility to ensure that an event and cover-up never happens again.

He then asks:"Why would an armed response officer do the job today? They go to work knowing they may have to make a split-second decision to save lives that will then be examined over a period of years by lawyers, judges, politicians and press column writers from the safety of their office chairs.

"Some will be deciding if they should face charges for the decision they made. Should we not thank God someone is doing their job because it would be a field day for armed robbers, drug gangs and terrorists if they weren't there."

He continues: "Of course we should hold them to account but let's start from a place of respect. Both the BBC and Guardian recently ran an article complaining that two armed officers were photographed smiling.

"I would thank them for engaging with the public, trying to show that they are human beings holding those weapons, not thoughtless robots.

"When they take off their armour and uniforms they go home to your street to live next door. Who do you think the police are? Aliens beamed from another planet?

"They are your brother, sister, mum or dad, son or daughter."

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