The function of policing is to protect the social order, so when we find ourselves in political tumult, and the preferred form of social order is contested, it shouldn’t surprise us that the police are caught in the crossfire. They are confronted with a range of social phenomena that don’t sit comfortably with what the American political writer Wesley Yang refers to as “successor ideology”.
This is the ideology that has emerged triumphant out of the post-1960s cultural revolution and is now riding high in universities, NGOs and much of the media. Successor ideology prizes egalitarianism, pacifism and gender equality, none of which the police can provide, given the nature of their task. Patterns of offending are not and never have been egalitarian, since they vary significantly according to sex, race, age and class.