December 17, 2006

Crime round up

The police are in the news a lot at the moment, and for once doing a very good job. It is a shame that they are not allowed to pursue ordinary crime with determination. Most of the time it is not the criminal that has to worry, but the ordinary citizen as the police seek to improve their detection statistics. It is much easier to hand out a dozen tickets for victimless 'crimes' such as driving without a seat belt on.
Where are the police? Preying on the law-abiding. Tax collecting. Ignoring crimes that shatter lives, destroy peace, and get fathers killed and children imprisoned for being stupid young men with testosterone coursing through their veins - but nothing wrong that a clip round the ear wouldn't fix.

Where are the fucking police? Ignoring the yobs, and sitting in a layby on the bypass by the town where I live, right now, with special camera equipment to check for invalid tax disks on passing cars.

And it kills fathers, it ruins lives and it makes us hate them. And we pay their fucking wages.
We have got to the stage where the law has simply lost the respect of the citzens that it should be there to protect. A quote by Frederic Bastiat found by the England Project sums it up nicely:
When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law - Frederic Bastiat
And to the credit of the peoples of these islands it would appear that we are losing our respect for the law rather than for morality. The third of Peel's nine principles that worked so well in reducing crime during the victorian era to haft its present level has been completely forgotten
The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
Something that they are rapidly losing.

Not that the police could do much to deter crime, which according to Peel is their primary duty and his first principle, there are simply too few of them capable of being put on the street and patrolling at any time. Raw Carrot calculates it could be:
100 officers policing 2,100,000 people. Put another way, for every police officer engaged in pro-active policing there are 21,000 people.
And PC David Copperfield said in his book that normally as a serving Police Officer when anybody tells him an estimate of the number of officers they think are on duty they will have overestimated by a factor of ten. The stations might be full, but full of people for dealing with the bureaucracy rather than people for deterring crime.
Not that the bureaucracy cares about deterring crime. How can it? How can you measure, and therefore plan, crimes deterred? Unable to get any idea of how things are at the local level all the centralised planners of the police can do is count the number of crimes detected and so base there plans around that. That this causes massive distortions in the way that policing is conducted with things like administrative detections used to boast the numbers sent in to the central bean counters in order that the layers of local bureaucracy can look good to the layers of centralised bureaucracy that are in control. A remote centralised bureaucracy that is not going to get any better should the EU get it's way and gain control of justice matters. But like everything the EU touches it will get more corrupt.

For every action, or inaction in this case, there is a reaction. Since the police no longer provide the deterrent to crime that they should the people that they are supposed to protect have begun to take it upon themselves. This could be by buying in a private street patrol like the police used to do, but don't anymore. Or just tooling themselves up for self protection (H/T Bag's Rants).


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