Saturday, November 21, 2009

The police show their true colours

Via Freedom and Whisky, it seems that the head of Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)—which, for some reason, is allowed to use the police.uk domain name despite being a private company—is in a bit of a tizzy about Conservative plans to elect police chiefs.
Sir Hugh, the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said that chief constables would resist any moves to introduce ''political influence'' into the police service.

Look, you stupid fuck, you are already under political influence: your budgets are controlled by central government, the law that you uphold is made by central government, the way in which you uphold that law is set by central government and the targets that you have to hit are made up by central government.

Perhaps you can tell me, Hugh, what part of central government is not political?

All that the Tories are proposing—and it's a proposal that LPUK also endorses—is that the political element is brought to a rather more local level. The idea that a politician who represents a leafy Surrey suburb does not get to tell a gritty Northern police service in some god-awful estate in Burnley how to do their job.

Through the election of a local commissioner, it is the people of Burnley who tell the police force what is important to them. In other words, these people might say that police actually doing some policing is rather more important to them than the police spending hours in Equality Training.

Now I can see why lazy cunts like you, Sir Hugh, wouldn't like that—you'd have to shift your fat arse from behind your desk for a few days a week—but I think that the people who you are supposed to serve might actually get the police service that they want—not a police service operating according to the priorities imposed by politicians in central government.
Sir Hugh suggested that some chief officers would resign rather than accept the Conservative plans.

"I would not be surprised to see chief officers not want to be part of a system where they can be told how to deliver policing," he said.

And there we have it: the police see themselves as being above the people that they are supposed to serve—much like the politicos.

Fuck off, Hugh Orde: fuck off and die.

34 comments:

FlyingRodent said...

Uh, not to be a dick about this, but does elected policing not open up a whole can of worms about the tyranny of the majority (of those who can be arsed to vote, in this case)? I mean, what would you think if people suddenly decided we needed to urgently crack down on IT professionals with wackadoodle opinions on state governance, and voted accordingly?

I raise this because local democracy is far, far more prone to hijacking by single-issue mentalists than general elections.

After all, I doubt I need to tell you that elected officials in policing are the norm in the US, and they have - proportionately - a far higher number of prison inmates than China, their nearest competitor. I'm not saying this is a direct result of police elections, but it's surely worth considering, no?

Devil's Kitchen said...

FR,

1) The tyranny of the majority exists anyway.

2) The police do not make the law: they merely enforce the laws that are made.

As such, people couldn't vote for the local police to "crack down on IT professionals with wackadoodle opinions on state governance".

But they could vote for a Commissioner who promised to route the Equality Training budget, for instance, into front line policing.

Or one who decided that the majority of officers would walk the streets, rather than lurking around in cop cars.

Or for one who decided that his force would focus more resources on burglars and murderers rather than drivers.

For instance.

"After all, I doubt I need to tell you that elected officials in policing are the norm in the US, and they have - proportionately - a far higher number of prison inmates than China, their nearest competitor. I'm not saying this is a direct result of police elections, but it's surely worth considering, no?"

On the other hand, it might be because they actally catch more criminals than here, for instance.

There are vastly more crimes committed than are ever solved in this country. One could argue that were the police to concentrate on serious crime then:

1) more people would be caught for those crimes, and

2) given that they are serious crimes, those who are caught are more likely to end up in prison (if convicted).

That's just as likely, is it not?

DK

Someone Else said...

I saw the post title and wondered if it could be to do with the officer who lost his life performing his duties in Cumbria earlier today.

A sad contrast between what he was doing and what Hugh Orde saying, from the comfort of his fucking ginormous face.

Last time I checked, police officers were Crown servants and were supposed to be impartial in public. Hugh Orde seems to be carrying on the tradition of Ian Blair (I won't bother with the civility of using his knighthood title) with his lobbying for Labour and delving in to politics on their behalf. The irony of a senior police officer making political statements about not making the police answerable to elected politicians would be delicious, if it wasn't so fucking breathtaking. What a cunt.

FlyingRodent said...

The tyranny of the majority exists anyway

Well yes, but this rather neatly ducks the point about how local elections are more likely to be hijacked by single issue nutters than national elections. They empower, rather than disempower single-issue nutters, with obvious results.

The police do not make the law: they merely enforce the laws that are made.

Again, yes, and good. We are, however, talking about a question of emphasis on particular areas of policing. Can I suggest that - as a small and not so severe example - groups of kids innocently hanging around the streets might get fucked much harder by elected policemen than, you know, actual criminals? After all, loitering teenagers are - in my anecdotal and totally personal experience - one of the most commonly-cited social problems the police are asked to crack down on.

I mean, your point really presupposes that folk are rational actors. They're not - I'm not, you're not. We all spazz out about the annoyances in front of us, not necessarily those that could be most productively dealt with.

they could vote for a Commissioner who promised to route the Equality Training budget, for instance, into front line policing.

Uh, there are very sound reasons backed by infamous historical cases why policemen attend these horribly PC courses - police racism etc. is not some figment of the lefty imagination, it is a real issue. Ask a policeman about this, if you get the chance.

No doubt there is much wastage in the police budget, since they're a huge organisation. No doubt plenty of it could be redirected to better uses, and that's a good thing. OTOH, if LPUK wants votes from non-whites and gay people, for instance, I'd cut out the bitching about the equalities stuff, if I were a member of your party. It's not just there for show.

Or one who decided that the majority of officers would walk the streets, rather than lurking around in cop cars.

No offence, but I'm inclined to cut the cops some slack and assume that they know how to do their jobs on some issues. They've done plenty of research on the plods on the street stuff, and continually give it the thumbs-down - maybe they're wrong, maybe they're right. I'm just saying they might have some expertise in this area.

And do you really think that the cops are more concerned with drivers than burglars and murderers? Mate, I don't know where to start - the road deaths/murders ratio might be the best place.

it might be because they actally catch more criminals than here.

Maybe, I don't know. I'll try to avoid opening a can of worms by saying that it's just a bit ironic that the Land of the Free is the Planetary Capital of the Unfree.

One could argue that were the police to concentrate on serious crime then...

I hate to argue from authority - do i ever - but I've worked on and off in the justice system for a decade, and I absolutely do not recognise the picture of minor draconianism and major liberalism that you're painting. Over that time, more and more resources have been piled into tackling serious violent, sexual and organised criminal offending, with prosecutions on street boxing and shoplifting getting the shaft.

I try to avoid saying things like this to people who aren't Harry's Place bloggers, but really, I don't believe you know what you are talking about. I think you've picked up a lot of themes from the press that are popular with the public and running with them, without any consideration for how they might pan out in reality.

thefrollickingmole said...

FlyingRodent.

Ill ask you a question if I may.

Why do you believe police have "racist attitudes"?

Do you think they have a genetic disposition to "dislike darkies", or is it taught to them by older officers?

Or (is has been my experience), is it the result of being pretty damn sure crimes are being carried out by people of different ethnic backgrounds out of all proportion to their numbers in the community.

In the costal city in Oz I hail from one segment of the population (easily singled out because of appearances) would tie up 3/4 of the court appearances for burgalry, assault, criminal damage, motor vehicle offences (such as driving without a license) GBH etc. The only portion of crimes they would peg level on are probably drugs and underrepresented in "white collar" crime such as fraud.

The police can safely assume 3/4 of the time they are looking for an individual in a community that makes up less than 10% of the population.

Is that racist or good policing?

And yes we cotinually get the bleating of "they are incacerated out of all proportion to their numbers" from the bleeding hearts, that to is sheeted home to racism, despite raw numbers (crimes committed/conviction rates/time sentenced etc) disproving the simple cry of racism.

Also I might add if you spend 3/4 of your time locking up 10% of the population you will become somewhat jaded with that group and their apologists.

JuliaM said...

"After all, I doubt I need to tell you that elected officials in policing are the norm in the US, and they have - proportionately - a far higher number of prison inmates than China..."

You say that like it's a bad thing...

JuliaM said...

"...I've worked on and off in the justice system for a decade..."

That's about the same amount of time that the rate of decay has accelerated wildly, isn't it? Coincidence?

Von Spreuth. said...

Or one who decided that the majority of officers would walk the streets, rather than lurking around in cop cars.

So various arseholes can just moan their fucking faces off that it then takes even LONGER for the police to come and arrest our Sharrons ex, Wayne, for nicking her I.Pod?

AndrewSouthLondon said...

We only know what we see. What I see in London is PCSO's everywhere giving tourists directions and not in any way policing, and wherever you see policemen on the beat they are strolling along in two's chatting to each other. Especially when its a man and a woman police officer. I would like to think they are chatting about how best to solve crime but I somehow doubt it.

Far from being racist we see them scared silly of touching the like of Mulims because of the risk to their career.

Your experience is yours, but ours is ours and its not the same.I look forward to electing my Chief Constable on the basis of his clear up rate not his secret handshake or his politics.

Rob said...

"Look, you stupid fuck, you are already under political influence: your budgets are controlled by central government, the law that you uphold is made by central government, the way in which you uphold that law is set by central government and the targets that you have to hit are made up by central government."

And who arrest opposition members of Parliament on the orders of central government.

The idea that the police are independent is absurd. They are political now, there's no going back, so our only chance is to have them controlled by the right people, i.e. the People.

Rob said...

BTW, this "tyranny of the majority" canard logically applies to local and national democracy as well. Let's abolish general elections because people might vote for governments which, say, invade other countries on a whim, or which pass laws allowing state employees to break down your front door and steal your property without a court order.

FlyingRodent said...

@Mole: Why do you believe police have "racist attitudes"?

Because they're only human like the rest of us, and are prone to the same failings? It's worth pointing out that racism is not rife in any of the police forces I've ever dealt with - we really are in "a few bad apples" territory here. Nonetheless, it does go on.

The rest of your comment is a bit of a whiffy apologia for discriminatory policing, so I'll just say that in the city I live in, 90% of all crime is committed by a small number of white heroin addicts and alcoholics. The police are expected to target criminals, whatever their ethnicity, for their criminal behaviour and not to stomp around harrassing minority groups on the off-chance they might be up to no good. I would've thought DK's readership would also note that black people and Asians are taxpayers too, and have a right to expect the same service from the coppers that white people do.

And Andrew's suggestion that Muslims get an easy ride from the cops is Speak You're Branez material.

Julia: You say that (America has many, many more people imprisoned than China) like it's a bad thing...

I would've thought it'd be problematic for anyone purporting libertarian or anti-statist politics, anyway. America's huge incarceration rate is a ruinously expensive, self-perpetuating social disaster that appears to have been completely ineffectual in tackling crime. All that cash appears to have bought them a society that is still more violent than ours. If you want to repeat the experiment here with identical results, I suggest elected police chiefs and, even better, elected public prosecutors.

And Rob's idea that the answer to politicised policing is More politicisation surely refutes itself, I would've thought.

Von Spreuth. said...

FlyingRodent said...

I would've thought DK's readership would also note that black people and Asians are taxpayers too, and have a right to expect the same service from the coppers that white people do.


But they do NOT and THAT is the problem.

Who were the ones arrested when they were all carrying banners demanding "Death to Westeners", "Behead the pope", etc? EXACTLY! NO ONE.

Who was arrested within thirty seconds when he put a sign on his garden fence saying something like "muslims out"? AYE! thet was it WHITE man.

Who got arrested at the protest against homecoming soldiers? SPOT ON the ones complaining about the muslim protesters, calling for the death of British troops.

Damn RIGHT they are treated differently to us.

Von Spreuth said...

But they do NOT and THAT is the problem.

Do NOT get the "same service"... that should have been

Anonymous said...

The police would be better if they read and understood Peel's attitude to policing. The police are civilians with a warrant card abd should behave as such. Impartiallity is a must, no one is above the law including them. It is a laught o see slogans on police cars such as "protecting the people". This is mislaeding advertising.

Derek

FlyingRodent said...

Damn RIGHT they are treated differently to us.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6904622.stm

That from a thirty-second Google search. I believe their sentences were reduced to four years on appeal, but that's certainly longer than I'd like to spend in a cell.

By the way, dismissing right wing boo-hoo about the horrible Muslims/immigrants etc. would be far tougher for lefty smartarses like me if you could restrain yourself from launching into this kind of easily-swatted, race-fixated boo-hoo. After all, the post and my responses to it have been about the merits of elected policing, and not the heavily fictionalised theoretical privileges of Islamist headbangers.

Using the former as an excuse to kick off about the latter really does make you look a bit like... Well, a single issue nutter of the sort who would joyfully turn any police election into a referendum on how hard we should crack down on the ethnics.

JuliaM said...

"I would've thought it'd be problematic for anyone purporting libertarian or anti-statist politics, anyway."

Not at all. Break the law, go to jail. What's 'non-libertarian' about that?

"...launching into this kind of easily-swatted, race-fixated boo-hoo."

If it's so easily swatted,are you going to try then?

Or....was that it?

The sort of arguing from single example you'd whine about had it come from anyone else?

Heh!

Malky Muscular said...

(This is me under a different login, can't be bothered to change the profile - FlyingRodent)

Not at all. Break the law, go to jail. What's 'non-libertarian' about that?

What's "non-libertarian" about the fact that the world's greatest democracy jails far more of its citizens than the world's greatest tyranny?

Put simply, the Americans have opted for a high-imprisonment model, and the result is a prison system that incarcerates one percent of the country's total population, and still suffers higher rates of crime than the UK. IIRC, that's about one in thirty males between 18 and 40 (ballpark figure) in an extortionately expensive prison system or on bail, and the net result has been a worse outcome than comparable states.

I would've thought that, given the choice between two imperfect systems, libertarians would choose the one that a) leads to less people being imprisoned and b) results in lower crime rates. That would be our system, not the Americans'. The viciousness of the Americans' system - and their prisons are considerably more vicious than ours, and their courts far more harsh - might bring joy to the hearts of fearful right wing nuts, but the facts indicate that it is vastly more expensive, far less efficient and that it produces provably inferior outcomes.

Never mind what libertarians think about those options - the choice should be pretty clear for anyone with the power of reason.

was that it?

Well, the post is about elected police, not some fucknut rant about how the Muslims are getting away with murder, so this is the last I'll say on the subject...

The government has radically altered the law, derogated us from international obligations, massively increased state power to search and detain, constructed a vast national security apparatus, embarked on huge criminal investigations ending in lengthy detentions and expensive attempts at deportation and a whole raft of illiberal measures aimed solely at cracking down on Islamic extremists. Without offering any opinion on the value of these policies, I would suggest that anyone arguing that we're somehow allowing Islamist nutters to run riot in some touchy-feely suckup strategy is less interested in reality than they are in pushing fearmongering bullshit.

Now, on the elected policemen. Anyone agree that police elections will greatly favour single-issue lunatics, and will probably lead to undesirable outcomes?

Malky Muscular said...

One percent of the total adult population, that is.

James R. Rummel said...

FlyingRodent left a comment....

"...does elected policing not open up a whole can of worms about the tyranny of the majority...?"

I hail from the United States, and one of the things I've noticed by reading the news from the UK is that the police don't respond to the general public at all well over there.

Stories are legion of innocent people afflicted by the most appalling series of threats, vandalism, property damage and assault. Yet, even though the police are informed, there are many cases of the authorities refusing to even take such mid action as file a report. "It would inflame the situation!" seems to be the most common excuse for sitting on their hands.

Does such unconcern for the well being of the people they are sworn to protect afflict the police over here in the US? I'm sure that, if I search long and far, I might come across an isolated incident or two. But there is a decided lack of mothers burning themselves and their retarded daughter to death in the family car because hooligans have made their lives a living hell.

The reason why police in the US are more responsive seems obvious to me. They are under the direct control of elected officials who have to convince the voters every four years that they give a shit. Of they don't get the votes, they are out on their ass. And the new boss will make changes to keep their phony-baloney job.

James R. Rummel said...

FlyingRodent weighs in again....

"Put simply, the Americans have opted for a high-imprisonment model, and the result is a prison system that incarcerates one percent of the country's total population, and still suffers higher rates of crime than the UK."

We do? Looks to me like the UK has a bit less than 5 times the crime rate as the US.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

I've come across people from the UK who insist that theirs is the less violent country, but I really don't see how they could come to that conclusion. The facts prove them wrong, and have for decades.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Malky,

"What's "non-libertarian" about the fact that the world's greatest democracy jails far more of its citizens than the world's greatest tyranny?"

Hmmm. First off, please do not confuse "democracy" with "libertarianism": they are not the same thing—in fact, looking at pure theory, a democracy is pretty far away from a libertarian nation.

Second, I would point out that China is big, poor and under a dictatorship: as such, figures coming out of there are likely to be skewed by far more than the habits of the police.


FR,

Basically, your position can be summed up as follows:

1) The police will not do a better job under elected Commissioners, and

2) electing Commissioners locally is far more likely to let loonies dictate the agenda.

Is that correct?

DK

Anonymous said...

Having read all of this thread, one can conclude that Flying Rodent thinks he's about 1,000 times cleverer and more important and wise and witty than he actually is - ie not very, and no better than any random member of the public, except that random members of the public don't smugly pontificate and issue judgements from their laptops 24/7.

What a smug, self-satisfied prize cock. And what a glaring, cringemakingly thick exhibition of everything he smugly types about.

FlyingRodent said...

DK, both Malky and FR are me - I run two different blogs with different logins, the former being a fictional character rather than my own opinion. I just couldn't be arsed to log out and in again.

The Chinese government can and does arbitrarily detain individuals for offences that are tantamount to thoughtcrime, and its judicial system is completely opaque. It still jails far fewer people than the United States - so many less people that it'd be almost impossible to cover up. Lest we forget, America is probably the country most influenced by what we could call classical liberalism and it still maintains habeus corpus for its citizens. And yet it incarcerates vastly more of its population than does Cuba, Iran, North Korea, China or Libya. This may be completely unconnected to elected policing, but I think it's worth mentioning nonetheless.

Basically, your position can be summed up as follows...

Why am I sensing that I'm about to walk in to some kind of trap here? Oh well...

The police may well do a better job under elected commissioners - I just think it's much more likely to be highly detrimental. I guess my point is that more direct democracy does not always equal better outcomes, because people are quite obviously not rational actors. They certainly are not rational actors in a country where some newspapers deliberately terrify their readers by pretending that we have higher crime rates than the US.

This goes triple for local democracy, where low turnouts tend to play into the hands of small numbers of nutters with very bad ideas. You know yourself that Britons are increasingly hysterical on law and order issues, and it's near impossible to discuss it without loads of jokers mouthing made-up bullshit about how the police won't arrest the Muslims. This does not bode well for elected policemen, since they work in an area that is based on dispassionate assessment of the policies that maximise the effectiveness of their resources.

If I can appeal to the self-interest of your readership, I also believe that it would produce the kind of outcomes that would have them throwing their hands up and comparing the UK to the Soviet Union within about two weeks of inception.

And to be clear - if people want elected police, then more power to their arms. I'm a firm believer that, if they people know what they want, then they deserve to get it good and hard.

What a smug, self-satisfied prize cock.

Hell, I've never pretended to be anything else, Anonymous. Nice unattributable insult, though.

thefrollickingmole said...

Flying Rodent

Heres a PDF dealing with the levels of criminality committed by the individuals in this ethnic group.

Unfortunately it wont let me copy (on this computor) so Ill just summarise a couple of the main points.

3% of the population.
35% of the adult prison population
73% of all youth under court orders.

In addition
5 times more likely to be the victims of crime (usualy within their own community)

The stated aim of the Justice department paper is to reduce incaceration BTW, not a beat up on crime figures.
http://www.department.dotag.wa.gov.au/_files/Aboriginal_Justice_Agreement.pdf

My point being, what looks like racism when you consider arrest rates, is actually reflected in the justice system. We are a long way from the bad old days of fitting up massive numbers of people for crimes.


I might also add one point that does chill me quite a bit.

Many many Aboriginal people are going to jail for driving and licencing offences.. Usualy its people who have lost their ticket due to drink driving, they are then pulled over driving later on and sent to jail. (the same sentence a white would get for that offence). However it strikes me as a massive punishment for a minor matter.

FlyingRodent said...

Heres a PDF dealing with the levels of criminality committed by the individuals in this ethnic group.

I'm sorry mate, but you've mistaken me for someone who believes that the cops arrest black people because they're racist. I have no idea why you think this is the case.

Devil's Kitchen said...

FR,

"Why am I sensing that I'm about to walk in to some kind of trap here?"

No trap intended: just trying to sum up your position.

"They certainly are not rational actors in a country where some newspapers deliberately terrify their readers by pretending that we have higher crime rates than the US."

Although I agree with you about the corrosive effect of the media, we do, in fact, have higher per capita crime rates than the US.

I take your point about nutters have more of a say in local politics, but maybe this would have the effect of getting more normal people out to vote: whilst local elections are perceived not to matter (and they really don't at present), it is only nutters and anoraks that are going to vote.

DK

FlyingRodent said...

maybe this would have the effect of getting more normal people out to vote

Maybe, and that would certainly be a Good Thing.

we do, in fact, have higher per capita crime rates than the US.

Can I advise the use of common sense on those figures? I'll assume that they're 100% correct - although it wouldn't be difficult to pick fault with a survey that says New Zealand is thirty places more riddled with crime than Russia, for Christ's sake - and respond accordingly.

You have yourself gone off before on the sheer number of piffling criminal offences it's possible to commit in the UK, thanks to overly meddlesome politicians. The UK is not subject to the same massive levels of gun crime, crack epidemics and gang warfare and that the US is, and the Americans' murder rate and drug problems are signifcantly higher.

I mean, do you regard the thousands of Britons who are regularly flashed by speed cameras as especially worrying, and meriting a strong state response?* I mean, Denmark is second on that list - Venezuela is 46th. Colombia is 53rd. I don't really think this is of much use as a guide.

*I know you don't, that's a rhetorical question.

thefrollickingmole said...

Flying Rodent.

This might be a clue as to why I assumed that.

"...The rest of your comment is a bit of a whiffy apologia for discriminatory policing, so I'll just say that in the city I live in, 90% of all crime is committed by a small number of white heroin addicts and alcoholics. The police are expected to target criminals, whatever their ethnicity, for their criminal behaviour and not to stomp around harrassing minority groups on the off-chance they might be up to no good. I would've thought DK's readership would also note that black people and Asians are taxpayers too, and have a right to expect the same service from the coppers that white people do...."

I may be reading it wrong but that seems to be pretty blunt.

FlyingRodent said...

This might be a clue...

No, I'm not getting you. You're going to have to be more explicit, because I can't see anything controversial in the passage you've quoted. This may be because I'm daft, but OTOH it may not.

James R. Rummel said...

"You have yourself gone off before on the sheer number of piffling criminal offences it's possible to commit in the UK, thanks to overly meddlesome politicians."

Actually, the figures very clearly show that the UK suffers 4.3 times the violent crime rate than the US.

I haven't bothered to look up the statistics concerning property crime, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that they are also higher than in the US.

"The UK is not subject to the same massive levels of gun crime, crack epidemics and gang warfare and that the US is, and the Americans' murder rate and drug problems are signifcantly higher."

No, you're wrong about that.

The so-called "crack epidemic" was addressed more than 25 years ago through increased enforcement and longer prison sentences. Yet again, the facts destroy your premise that increased jail time doesn't reduce crime.

So far as your assertion that the UK has lower levels of gun crime, it does. But it has been skyrocketing so fast since the gun ban in 1999 that the UK should reach US levels of gun crime in 2012.

http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/04/of-that-i-have-no-doubt.html

If all that statistical analysis is too boring (it is for me), then maybe you should just take a look at the graph.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v99/smallestminority/ratio_trends.jpg

FlyingRodent, the facts keep proving you wrong. Over and over again.

Police chiefs and sheriffs here in the US are either directly elected, or under the direct control of elected officials, and we suffer a mere fraction of the violent crime rate that the citizens of the UK experience. Is there a correlation? Maybe.

We have a much higher per capita incarceration rate than the UK, and you say that has done nothing to curb crime. Yet there are those annoying facts, where the UK has more than 4 times the US crime rate, which keeps proving your position to be risible.

So then you switch gears, and assert that the US still suffers from problems that longer prison sentences took care of decades ago. More proof that you are wrong.

You also claim that the US has a massively greater incidence of gun crime than the UK, and yet the facts prove that the rates are nearly neck-and-neck. Proof that longer prison sentences reduce gun crime? More likely that ineffectual policing in the UK is to blame, actually.

It seems to me that FlyingRodent is suffering from a knee jerk, reflexive anti-American bigotry. In his mind, the US has to be a more violent place than the UK, and he will ignore all the facts arrayed against this position in the hope that no one will notice.

This is rather amusing to me, since I see that FR is constantly stating that his position is logical, fact based, rational. Yet the data merely proves that this simply isn't the case.

FlyingRodent said...

the figures very clearly show that the UK suffers 4.3 times the violent crime rate than the US.

If you look at them with your eyes sort of half-shut and squinty, the same figures also show Britain is wildly more violent than South Africa, which is patently ridiculous. This should give us pause before we draw conclusions, no? I suggest that this may be down to damned statistics and the way they're recorded, don't you think? Unless you regard post-pub boxing matches and shootings as being essentially the same thing. By 2004 figures, for instance, the USA's murder rate was five times the UK's - figures here.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=tAJzrYuGxXOGbU_HO2s_PrQ

So we're talking about a multi-billion dollar prison system that locks up millions of people, yet the murder soars well above the levels in western European democracies. If I was to follow your example, I would now clip something off some loony's blog and proclaim myself teh Ultimate Winner.

(Gun crime) has been skyrocketing so fast since the gun ban in 1999 that the UK should reach US levels of gun crime in 2012.

Ha ha ha, by the argument that blogger is using, Britain should reach Mogadishu levels of gun crime by 2018 and, by 2025, literally every human being in the UK will have been shot to bits with an AK-47. He's not so much comparing apples with oranges as confusing Thursdays with bouncy castles.

The so-called "crack epidemic" was addressed more than 25 years ago through increased enforcement and longer prison sentences.

So you are saying that, without anybody noticing and no fanfare, the US has won the war on drugs, or at least the war on crack? If I was to go looking for figures on, say, hard drug use in American cities, I would find that the problems of drug abuse and drug-related crime are either lower than or comparable to UK rates, thanks to the world's most draconian incarceration rate?

That's a rhetorical question too, by the way - there's a reason why that Tory MP was laughed out of town when he compared Britain to Baltimore.

Summary - the data you're presenting suffers from exactly the same problems as the graph which proves New Zealand suffers from far higher crime rates than Venezuela and Russia - you're comparing things that are fundamentally not alike. The sad fact is that the only link you've provided to back up what are some really wild and contentious claims - Britain's gun crime as bad as the USA's? Aye, right - is brutally undercutting their credibility.

And perhaps I do suffer some kneejerk anti-American prejudice - the nature of prejudice is that you aren't aware you have it, and regard it as basic good sense rather than irrationality. On the other hand, I invite readers to subject James's claims to the laugh test, and see how they fare.

FlyingRodent said...

The sad fact is that the only link you've provided to back up what are some really wild and contentious claims is some joker who clearly doesn't understand his own data and is willing to extrapolate facts out of his arse is brutally undercutting their credibility, that is.

James R. Rummel said...

FlyingRodent weighs in yet again....

"I suggest that this may be down to damned statistics and the way they're recorded, don't you think?"

Willing to reject the official statistics compiled from the Home Office? Okay, howsabout data from the European Commission?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/5712573/UK-is-violent-crime-capital-of-Europe.html

Hmmm. That proves you wrong once again, doesn't it? So maybe the United Nations will back up your claim that the United States is much more violent and crime ridden than the UK.

http://www.uncjin.org/Statistics/statistics.html

No, those One Worlder bastards just reaffirm all the other surveys and statistics! Maybe the British Crime Survey will vindicate your views.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/crimeew0809.html

No! How can it be so? Every scrap of data, every survey, every statistic proves you to be living in a fantasy world! Facts collected by different organizations, using different methods, and they all point to the same conclusion! How could this possibly be?

What was it you said about prejudice?

"...the nature of prejudice is that you aren't aware you have it, and regard it as basic good sense rather than irrationality."

Seems like sound wisdom, there.

One thing I noticed right off is that you spend a great deal of time affirming your opinions, ridiculing those who hold different views, and attempting to undermine the credibility of anything which shows you to be wrong, but you have never once offered any data which supports your position. Nothing at all.

If what you claim is true, that you arrived at your views through logic and rationality, shouldn't that be raising a red flag? It wouldn't to a bigot, of course. They would just refuse to listen, and redouble their attacks.

But all of this, diverting though it might be, is off topic from the original post.

The premise was that local elections for police chiefs would increase the accountability of police forces to the communities they serve, as well as make the police more responsive to specific needs of that community.

I have no idea if this would work in Great Britain, but it certainly adds to the general social welfare over here in the United States. It would probably be a good idea to try it for a few decades to see what happens.

After all, it can hardly make things worse.