Reply to post: Re: We need gunlaws like in the US to fight crime

Crime epidemic or never had it so good? Drilling into statistics is murder

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: We need gunlaws like in the US to fight crime

I don't want armed vigilantes on the streets, however, anyone who has been through the criminal justice system as a victim will know that theres plenty of criminals and plenty of people working in the system, but there's no justice.

I suspect you're right. And to an extent you're also right that the solution to crime is preventing it, not retrospective punishment for the minority of offenders who are caught. But arming yourself doesn't prevent crime - at best it might cause the criminals to choose a different victim, as well as taking up police time investigating street shootings.

The solution is two fold, and it isn't comfortable for the establishment. First of all, government need to legalise all recreational drugs, to reduce the need for "drug funding crimes" because these are a huge driver of burglaries, robberies, and gang related crime. Legalising drugs then also eliminates the big money in a crime business model that supports other serious and organised crime - and we could also direct interventions to people who are currently using drugs illegally anyway. No matter how dangerous drugs are, no matter how much people think drugs are wrong and should be stopped, there's a highly capable, versatile and resilient supply chain that has not been interrupted at all by decades of police efforts. You can either accept that and devise a new approach, or you can persist in a strategy that has failed for many years, and will continue to fail expensively and harmfully, whilst supporting perhaps a third of all crime in the UK.

Second, government need to work out a better form of justice than the courts currently dish out, which works for very few. Locking people up certainly keeps them out of circulation, but that's all it does - the reoffending rates are appalling. If somebody commits a crime that requires imprisonment, then you can't just let them rot for however many months or years. That won't reform them. You need resources to work out what drives them to crime, what sort of outcome they want for their life, and how they can be put on a path to getting what they want without harming others. We do none of this, and then we're apparently surprised by 60% reoffending rates.

If poverty or unemployment are a separate cause, then government need to create jobs for the largely unskilled people who end up as repeat criminals (as well as those who want to work but insist they can't find employment). There's plenty of low skill work that needs doing and government claim we don't have the resources for - road maintenance, flood alleviation, national broadband roll out (well, the trenching and reinstatement element), new road programmes to alleviate current hotspots etc. Instead of paying people to sit on their arse, welfare should involve work - even if that idea is a bit radical for the liberal left, and arguably it shouldn't even be welfare - abolish unemployment benefits other than for (say) two months for transitional unemployed, and offer a state employment programme. For some people this might be a long term thing, and that's fine, I'm not seeing this as "make work", but actually doing useful stuff and paying people appropriately.

There's other stuff to suggest, but the simple point is that whilst crime has come down, it still occurs at too frequent a rate and too high a cost to society; Existing approaches have failed, arming ourselves to the teeth won't work, so we either tolerate it, or we adopt a series of radical new approaches, using simple DMAIC logic to modify these to get the outcome we want, which is lower crime, and lower costs of handling crime.

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