Woke police need to wake up

Ellie Wheatley

September 1, 2022

The police force isn’t working, and the public, according to a recent Policy Exchange report, are increasingly losing faith in it.

Considering the facts, it’s hardly surprising that people feel this way. The likelihood of the police solving many common crimes is ‘woefully low’, with only 3.5 per cent of residential burglaries and 4.1 per cent of reported thefts solved in the financial year 2021/22.

And it’s not only common crimes the police are failing to deal with; only 1 in 20 violent crimes result in a charge. In recent weeks, there’s been a notable spike in knife and gun crime across the UK. It would appear it took such a high level of public outrage over the murder of a nine-year old girl in Liverpool for the police to wake up and be seen to ‘crackdown’ on gang violence.

So, where is all our taxpayer money going? Why aren’t the police clamping down, not just on violent and egregious crimes, but on the common crimes like theft?

Growing up, I was blissfully unaware of crime where I lived. You might avoid the odd dodgy area, but other than that, it felt like you could rely on the police to protect you. But now, even the most well-to-do areas like Chelsea’s Sloane Square are being targeted by amateur criminals in balaclavas. That’s when you know things are getting really bad.

It is frustrating, then, that the police are using their limited resources for the valiant mission of combatting… hate crime. Of course, there’s a lot that can be construed as a hate crime now; in theory anything and everything could be deemed offensive to at least one person. It’s hard to believe that policing words should be a priority when many physical crimes are going on undeterred.

For example, a video went viral recently showing two police officers arresting a man in Hampshire. His crime? Sharing on social media a picture of a transgender flag morphed into a swastika.

The recording was a hard watch. The police officers are filmed cornering an unsuspecting member of the public in his front garden, interrogating him publicly for a social media post that had apparently caused emotional distress to somebody, somewhere.

Are we supposed to feel glad that our money is being spent in this way… keeping crime off the tweets rather than off the streets?

Indeed, hate crime is now deemed equally if not more important than ‘traditional’ crime. The police are to treat even mere journalists on par with actual criminals in secret guidance that has just been revealed. It’s no wonder this policy went under the radar; it’s likely they knew the public outrage it would cause.

It is no exaggeration to say that this now futile force is not only letting crime go without sanction, but it may actually be encouraging it. Why wouldn’t a young criminal have a stab at (pun intended) nicking someone’s watch, knowing they are highly unlikely to either get caught or convicted?

The lack of effective policing may well be increasing crime rather than tackling it. People feel unsafe on our streets, while their freedom of expression is policed. Instead of woking up, the police need to wake up, else the public will cease to want to fund them at all.

Author

Written by Ellie Wheatley

Ellie Wheatley is assistant editor of 1828 and an undergrad at Durham University studying Philosophy & Politics.

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