“Fire kills child, 3, and parents as police prevent neighbours from trying to rescue them”
If anything is going to produce outrage, it would be an account of how young and innocent lives were lost when they could have been saved. And all through a pig-headed application of the rules, to boot.
Firstly, the report says that the neighbours were “beaten back by flames” which suggests to me that the fire was so intense that they would not have been able to get in and save anyone anyway. If this was a fire at night and there were no alarms installed then it could well have been burning for some time before anyone noticed.
Secondly, if the police really did quote H&S then they might not necessarily have meant it in the bureaucratic jobsworth sense that the Samizdata article seems to imply. I wonder if they meant “it’s too late, you can’t save them, you’ll only get killed if you try” but stated that the rules said so out of some misplaced belief that people will be impressed by being told that It’s The Law and are more likely to obey. We cannot know, but if so it clearly failed to make an impression in this case.
I find it very difficult to believe that five British police officers would stand by and let young children burn if they thought there was a chance for unequipped and untrained hands to help. Oh, there might be one or two here or there who would not care to make an attempt if it might mean their job. But five??? It seems likely that at least one, and probably more, of the officers were a parent themselves. For some reason, I don’t think sociopaths alone choose the police as a career.
It seems to me that there are a fair number of areas where Great Britain might improve. It also seems fair to me when someone points them out. But I don’t think this news article is fair.
(Hat tip to Glenn.)