A Queensland magistrate has deemed it acceptable for people to tell police officers to f*** off.
The Townsville Bulletin reported Magistrate Peter Smid dismissed a case against a 28-year-old man who twice told a female police officer to f*** off after she tipped out his girlfriend’s drink at 2.40am outside a nightclub.
The magistrate stated that while it was not the most polite way of speaking, the defendant spoke normally nonetheless.
He said police should be “immune to words” while working. He noted the officer wasn’t offended and described the man’s arrest as “overkill”.
This isn’t just about the use of the f-word. It’s about respect.
There was a time when the police uniform carried great respect. Clearly, that’s no longer the case and that’s not about to change when magistrates condone this type of behaviour toward police. Why should a police officer be “immune” to this type of language while doing their job?
It’s the responsibility of the court system to educate the community on what is and isn’t acceptable in society.
This was a chance for Magistrate Smid to restore some of that respect for the police uniform.
Defence barrister Justin Greggery said f*** off was a common expression but not descriptive like f*** you or you f***.
“Really, the word has lost its effect due to its use in books, films, and general speech,” he said.
Sadly, he’s right... this expression is now commonplace in conversation had by all ages. In this case, the use of the phrase showed no regard for police authority and no respect for the uniform.
Police must retain both of those to perform their duty and that’s why the magistrate should have made a strong statement.