The middle class in England has lost confidence that country’s police forces are able to perform the functions for which they are constituted.
Adding insult to injury not only do people find that the police lack vigilance in protecting society and ensuring public safety but are also damn rude to boot. One huge problem with the performance of the police services is that the citizens believe an inordinate amount of time and effort are plowed into policing activities that until recently weren’t considered criminal. Of late newspapers have highlighted incidents of the police going after children chalking pictures on the pavement and holding a young man for hours because he had kept a subway elevator open by blocking the door with his foot. The pettiness of such policing tactics outrages taxpayers who are experiencing a violent crime wave with no relief in sight.
As so-called advanced nations, such as the United Kingdom, write laws against "crimes", such as smoking in a "public place," an inevitable shift in priorities occurs. Since keeping arrest statistics high is the goal it is obviously much easier cracking down on lawful people who smoke in a bar or litter the street with crumbs from a pork pie than going after the louts that rob and injure the public. Pursuing real criminals is strenuous and dangerous. With a fat, passive middle class from which to cull statistics it’s no wonder that people complain that the response to real crimes is lackadaisical and oft times nonexistent. England is discovering that when everything is illegal, the pettier the charge the more exuberantly is the thrust to eliminate the offense. The comments from this article back up the contention of the report. Two are noteworthy:
"This pathetic excuse for a government in its ignorance has banned smoking and in doing so has lost millions in taxes so to try and claw this money back they are jumping on the next soft target i.e. motorists. The Government try and justify their extortion, they give us a load of rubbish about the environment and saving the planet when in truth all they want is your money."
"Another Labour fiasco. We had the best police force in the world admired by the rest of the world. Now our police have to consult the Americans for advice. This government have installed their chief constables to carry out the nanny state regime, with quotas, and harassment of the old, and they never bother to turn up to a serious crimes, like the guy who was attacked by a crow bar wielding robber. The Daily Mail has been reporting the same story from people all week, of how this government has destroyed our country’s way of life."
The second comments comes from a Brit so disgusted with his country that he now lives in Greece. Anti-tobacco, and all the ensuing zero-tolerance shibboleths that rule modern life, are responsible for a culture of mendacity, for the waste of public resources and for the imposition of neo-fascist control mechanisms. Add to that depressing list a moral confusion that elevates non-crimes into crimes that are treated more vigilantly than the real crimes that real people want stopped.