Ever wonder why we have so much crime?

West Ken, this morning

As I write, a key railway line in London has been out of service for almost two days, with trains between Shepherd’s Bush and Clapham Junction suspended and many other trains diverted.

This is a major inconvenience that I’m sure can be expressed in a monetary equivalent, and not a small one. At the same time, a street in West Kensington, an upmarket area between those two terminals, has been blocked off by police.

All this mayhem has been caused by one young man who at 4.20am yesterday climbed on the roof of a residential building, displaying nothing short of acrobatic agility. He then started breaking off TV aerials and masonry, such as chimney pots, and hurling them into the street and on the railway tracks.

Police negotiators and other officers immediately arrived at the scene and tried to talk the man down. They are still there, and he is still on that roof, one hopes running out of chimney pots.

A Met Police spokesman said that the “incident remains ongoing” and – pay attention for here’s the crux of the matter – “Officers are trying to speak to him following concerns for his welfare”. 

Since the intrepid pot-thrower himself doesn’t seem to share such concerns, the situation is at an impasse. The perp refuses to listen to reason, and he has no concern for his safety or for rail traffic in West London that he is holding hostage.

This, though I’m certain that Met negotiators are well-trained in appealing to the better parts of criminals’ nature. If the wrongdoer happens to belong to a socioeconomically disadvantaged and historically oppressed minority, as this one does, Met officers doubtless feel his pain. They know that such standoffs call for extra sensitivity on their part, with their milk of human kindness never going sour.

So how can they get that criminal – sorry, that victim of racial, economic and social inequality – down from that roof if he wishes to stay where he is? There seems to be no solution to the conundrum, at least none that the Met can think of.

This is where I come in, ready to offer my services to the cause of public safety. My solution is guaranteed to be effective, and it’s so simple that it can be explained in three letters: SAS.

That unit is trained in handling situations involving criminals and tall buildings. This they proved in 1980, when they stormed the Iranian Embassy taken over by six terrorists (also victims of colonialism and institutional racism). SAS got 25 out of 26 hostages out alive and killed all the bandits. Job done.

If they could do that half a century ago, surely they’d know exactly how to handle a single pot-thrower who has no weapons other than whatever he can break off from the roof. Their commander would explain that no “concerns for his welfare” applied any longer, and they certainly didn’t take priority over concerns for the wellbeing of local residents and train passengers.

After that, the SAS soldiers would get the chap in their crosshairs and, speaking in simple words even he could understand, tell him he has one second to stop his barrage and 10 to descend. If he failed to do that, he’d be shot.

Too radical? Well, my second option would be for the officers to climb onto the same roof and Taser the criminal, or subdue him using another one of the dozens of techniques they know how to use effectively and quickly.

That nothing like this has been done for two days should answer any questions you might have about the reasons for our steeply climbing crime curve. Our police aren’t allowed to do policing any longer – just as our teachers aren’t allowed to teach.

They, both policemen and teachers, may get their pay from their immediate employers, but in their hearts they are supposed to see themselves first and foremost as social workers cum therapists.

Cops are expected to mollycoddle even murderers, never mind a chap who merely causes thousands in damages by paralysing a railway line. I wonder what they’d be instructed to do if the same man were raining bullets rather than chimney pots on the street. Would they then be allowed to summon a weapons unit or the SAS? Or would they first ring the psychologist and social worker on their speed dial?

Tocqueville wrote that in America all political problems became legal sooner or later. With us, it’s the other way around: all our legal (and crime) problems sooner or later become political. And the politics of the land are solidly woke, with both major parties insisting that a criminal’s rights supersede those of his victim’s.

It’s a good time to embark on a criminal career in Britain. Chances are such a novice wouldn’t be caught. Or if caught, he wouldn’t be prosecuted; if prosecuted, he wouldn’t be tried; if tried, he wouldn’t be convicted.

If you contemplate retraining as a felon, I recommend burglary. In most cases, cops even refuse to investigate such crimes, correctly realising that a burglar does the same thing as our government: redistributing wealth. Burglary is still rather lucrative, and the risk is close to zero. Best of luck!

2 thoughts on “Ever wonder why we have so much crime?”

  1. In California, no theft under $950 will be prosecuted. Defenders of that statute will cite the letter of the law, that theft of items totaling less than $950 will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. Officers on the street will tell you the spirit of the law – or rather, that of the liberal district attorneys – that no charges will be brought if an arrest is made. The update to the law was made in 2014, voted in by the citizens of California. I couldn’t tell you why, but I can tell you why the proposition was originally written and put on the ballot.

    In 2011 our state Supreme Court ruled that our state prisons were overcrowded and incarceration in such an institution constituted “cruel and unusual punishment”, something proscribed by the 8th amendment to our federal constitution. The court ordered the state to reduce the prison population by 33,000 individuals. Why the state is more concerned with the comfort of its criminals over that of its law-abiding citizens is a topic that has been broached on these pages more than once. Still, with my limited brain power and over-developed sense of right and wrong, I struggle to understand it.

    While I actually have been thinking that I need to supplement my income, I doubt that any crime I commit would go unpunished. I have a sneaking suspicion that somehow my appearance would affect the process, that there may be more at play here than just the raw value of the crime.

    1. The reason why prisons, not only in California but also in the UK, are dangerously and disgustingly overcrowded is that no alternative punishment is permitted.

      My father used to say that first offenders ought to get the birch, and second offenders ought to get the noose. My father belonged to a generation of heroes, and I’m a mere epigone, but I think he had a point. Corporal and capital punishment are both cheap and effective. The arguments against them are sentimental rather than rational.

      I’m not a monster, like some latter-day Caligula or Mahomet. I don’t advocate branding or mutilation. On the contrary, I think prolonged incarceration is a cruel, foolish and ineffective punishment, which ought to be abolished in favour of the kindlier alternatives I’ve mentioned.

      But is there any political party in the UK or USA that agrees with me?

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