Now, if you’re after reading a typical rant about the state of policing in the UK, then you’ve come to the wrong place. I have a lot of respect for the police and I believe that they do a great job. On the whole. The restricted conditions that they have to work under have made their task all but impossible. With reduced funding, increased bureaucracy and dwindling support from the public, it’s no wonder that we are seeing a degradation of our police force.
I was shocked to read a recent statistic that only half of incidents reported now are actually investigated. Imagine having your house broken in to, or your car stolen and the only response you receive is to have some details taken over the phone. When you ask, “will the person be caught”, or “will I get my stuff back”, the realistic answer now is, “no”!
So what should we do. Investigate the crimes ourselves. Start up a vigilante force to patrol our streets, or perhaps, pay higher taxes to fund a better police force. Many people are already doing the first two, although, this isn’t an option for everyone. The extra money thing is a nice idea in theory, but how many people can actually afford to pay higher taxes. In this age of austerity (here’s a shocker, it’s not over!!), people are having to decide which of the bills to pay and a reduced pay packet is not an option. Also, there’s always an argument that any extra money raised via taxation will only get soaked up by the political and bureaucratic machine.
Okay smart-arse, I hear you cry, what’s the answer. Privatisation. That’s right, turn the police force over to those who benefit from its existence. Corporations and businesses can have part of their taxes paid directly into a “pot” that is used solely for policing. Affluent areas can pay slightly higher council tax, the extra revenue again going into this pot. The people, that’s us, can decide, via local councils and committees, just how and where this money is going to be spent. People can volunteer for local policing schemes and incentives, to help bolster the national police force. And not just neighbourhood watch schemes that stand behind net curtains telling tales on their neighbours, but a useful feet-on-the-ground volunteer force. After all, shouldn’t we take care of our own safety and not leave it in the hands of the politicians.
Not practical? Of course it’s not, but what else are we supposed to do. Just sit back and blame it on the very people that are trying to help us. Surely it’s time that we step up and take on some of the responsibility ourselves. Those that can pay should, and those that can’t should at least help out in other ways. It’s only by coming together as communities and pooling our time and resources that we are going to see a change.
Or, we can just sit around moaning about it, blaming everyone else in the process.