Is there any limit to British police insanity?
Police are neglecting to tackle serious, violent crimes and focusing instead on more minor offences as they strive to meet government targets, the man charged with shaping the future of policing in England and Wales has admitted. Peter Neyroud, chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency, said that over the past five years police had focused on increasing the number of "offences brought to justice". But the former chief constable admitted that this meant that catching a murderer carried no more importance than apprehending someone who had stolen a bottle of milk. "There has been, in the minds of many professionals, me included, a neglect of the serious," Mr Neyroud said. "Because detecting a stolen milk bottle counts the same as detecting a murder . . . you get your points from, not necessarily milk bottles, but certainly in mid-range, volume crime, rather than serious crime."
This is the first time that a senior officer has suggested that the target-driven culture is diverting police from properly investigating more serious crimes. His comments reinforce those of rank-and-file officers at the weekend who said that police were putting more effort into catching burglars than investigating a paedophile ring.
The Government set the criminal justice system the target of bringing 1.25 million offences a year to justice by 2007-08, a figure that has already been exceeded. In the 12 months to June, 1.4 million offences were brought to justice. An offence is considered brought to justice when an offender is cautioned, convicted, had a crime taken into consideration, been given a fixed-penalty notice for disorder or a warning for possessing cannabis.
Mr Neyroud also admitted that the police had failed to improve significantly the detection rate for serious sexual and violent crimes and demanded the development of a national strategy to tackle the increasing number of homicides in England and Wales. Mr Neyroud said in his lecture to the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London, which was sponsored by The Times, that simply getting numbers through the system was not an end in itself. He called for an improvement in the way that police deal with serious violent crimes and sexual attacks. The number of the most serious and violent offences against a person has risen from 14,230 when Labour came to power to a peak of 21,825 in 2003-04 before falling to 19,157 last year. These crimes include murder, manslaughter and causing death by dangerous driving. The number of most serious recorded sexual crimes has also risen from 31,334 in 1997 to 48,700 in 2003-04 before falling to 43,755 last year.
Mr Neyroud said: "For a number of us working in this area, the professional view is that the one area in which we have not improved significantly over the last ten years is raising our level of performance in relation to the most serious crimes." He added: "Levels of detection and levels of performance in that territory have not improved anything like as fast . . . as improvements in detections generally."
Mr Neyroud's call for a sharper focus on dealing with serious crime comes as the Home Office prepares to publish a "violence action plan" aimed at reducing the number of most serious violence, serious sexual offending and domestic violence offences. Ministers are demanding a reduction in the 19,157 serious violent crime offences recorded last year. But they have not set a numerical target for the reduction of serious recorded sex crimes as many go unreported.
Last night Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London, said: "This is a striking intervention from one of the most senior and experienced police officers in the country. "The public would expect the police to make it a priority to deal with serious crimes of violence."
Earlier, David Cameron called for extra help for rape victims and tougher punishment for their attackers as part of a drive to have more rapists sent to jail. Only 5.7 per cent of reported rapes in England and Wales result in a conviction.
It's good for children to hurt themselves at play, says British safety chief
Health and safety "extremists" are preventing children from enjoying normal play and preparing for adult life, the head of an accident prevention charity said yesterday. Suffering from a twisted ankle or skinned knee should be an everyday part of childhood, according to Tom Mullarkey, the chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). He said that overzealous bureaucrats were undermining legitimate concerns about health and safety by applying guidance too literally and failing to use common sense.
In his annual report, Mr Mullarkey said: "People have this perception of `elf and safety' as something that restricts your life, rather than helping you to live fully and successfully. "We do not believe in extremist health and safety ideas which would keep children wrapped in cotton wool. "Our argument is that a skinned knee or a twisted ankle in a challenging and exciting play environment is not just acceptable, it is a positive necessity." He said Britain should be made "as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible", adding: "We need to prepare our children for a complex, dangerous world in which healthy, robust activity is more a national need than ever before."
Accidents at home, at work or on the road kill 12,000 people a year, cost an estimated 25 billion pounds, cause hundreds of thousands of serious injuries and lead to millions of visits to accident & emergency departments.
But Mr Mullarkey said RoSPA was working to dispel fears about excessive safety measures, which gave ammunition to those seeking to ridicule health and safety, and could lead to casual indifference to accident prevention. Health and safety rules should be applied sensibly, he said, and not used as an excuse to cancel events or to save money, for example in situations such as the banning of Christmas lights. He said: "There is no reason they cannot be used for health and safety reasons.
"I also heard recently that a swimming pool would be closed for `health and safety reasons' but in fact it was because the roof was falling in, and they did not have the money to fix it. "It is a concern that health and safety is used as an excuse for cost-cutting. We think people should climb mountains, and sail boats and have children - we are trying to help them in a practical way."
The charity is calling for an intelligent debate about health and safety issues. Last week Rospa said there should be an expansion of schemes that teach children about risk, so that they would be better prepared for adulthood. Only about 6 per cent of primary school children participate in a scheme called Learning About Safety By Experiencing Risk (LASER). The project uses realistic settings, such as roads or building sites, to stress the importance to children of taking responsibility for their own safety. Of the 12,000 fatalities a year caused by accidents, the charity estimates that 4,000 people die in the home, 3,200 on the road, 240 at work and the rest during travel and leisure activities.
Legal persecution of men
Joan Arehart-Treichel's reports in, "Men Shouldn't Be Overlooked as Victims of Partner Violence," findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding perpetration of partner violence. The 2001 study shows that half of partner violence is reciprocally violent and that more women than men were responsible for instigating nonreciprocal partner violence, 71 percent to 29 percent respectively. The CDC study's lead investigator, Daniel Whitaker, Ph.D., states, "I think the most important is that a great deal of interpersonal violence is reciprocally perpetrated and that when it is reciprocally perpetrated, it is much more likely to result in injury than when perpetrated by only one partner."
The study's conclusion is: "The context of the violence (reciprocal vs nonreciprocal) is a strong predictor of reported injury. Prevention approaches that address the escalation of partner violence may be needed to address reciprocal violence."
The 2001 CDC study concurs with other CDC studies on partner violence and three decades of scholarly studies Despite overwhelming evidence that the majority of domestic violence is reciprocal (mutual in nature, meaning neither party is actingin self-defense) and that men comprise the larger victim group, there is not so much as one cent allocated for service and support for male victims of partner violence. Congress appears to have a sense that men are not entitled to equal protection under the laws they promulgate and further, deserve to be abused, or worse.
Among enforcement actions reported to members of Congress, the use of physical torture to coerce acquiescence to false claims of domestic violence is the most egregious. The term "torture" has sadly become all but a catch phrase in our culture. Because of this, we are required to be brutally specific in describing what we are calling torture today: genital electrocution and hypothermic shock.
Torture victims have described events during their imprisonment where they were stripped naked and doused with cold water, and then "stun-gun/tasers" were applied to their testicles by law enforcement agents. This was repeated until they confessed/agreed to the fraudulent complaint filed against them. The cold water is used to keep them awake during the process. This practice leaves permanent scaring with distinctive patterns that can be forensically verified. Indeed, the type of stun-gun/taser used in the assault can be identified. The residual scaring is the result of the testicular tissue in the current path between stun-gun's prongs being completely cooked.
Other victims report being exposed to cold so extreme it caused them to experience hypothermic shock lasting as long as two days. For some individuals, this has resulted in permanent paralysis and mental deterioration. Once fit, healthy citizens are now disabled Americans solely because they refused to agree to a lie.
In a number of cases, the hypothermic shock resulted in the destruction of the muscles in their pelvic floor. These are the muscles that control your ability to evacuate your bowel (those we "push" with during a bowel movement). These victims must use mechanical means to remove the fecal material from their bowel for the remainder of their lives, or they will die a slow, excruciating death.
Some victims with this type of disability were provided with a medical device which resembles a parfait spoon to dig the material out of their bowel manually. Others are able to use high does of fiber and laxatives and then bounce on the toilet seat, causing the fecal material to be ejected. This process is similar to shaking thick ketchup out of a bottle.
Over 800 cases of the prior listed types of torture have been reported to the victim's representatives in the United States Congress. To date, only two members of Congress have made contact to inquire about these heinous acts against US citizens. One Senator and one Congressman stand alone among the entire US Congress.
Despite these atrocities, members of Congress are preparing to present the "International Violence Against Women" (I-VAWA), which will fund the international deployment of this disastrous system through programs such as the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
There must be serious concerns with a program when the sitting judges in these cases state that the filing of false claims of domestic violence in family court is pervasive. That's without even mentioning the commentary from judges abroad, such as that of the Dean of Barcelona's judges, Maria Sanahuja, who says the current domestic violence laws, ". has provoked a sort of madness in the law that generates abuse, the elimination of the requirement of proof during the legal process, and the absence of the presumption of innocence." She further condemns the domestic violence laws as "characteristic of totalitarian countries" and "a repugnant violation of fundamental rights."
Given the above and the fact that there is not one cent in federal funding to aid male victims of abuse, there are numerous federal offices dealing with the health issues of women and not one for men, and in both of the prior matters men comprise the larger numbers of, we may want to forget about asking Congress for their "sense of" these issues and question whether there is any sense to the construct of the relevant laws.
All religions are not the same
The history of Judeo-Christians is profoundly different than the history of other religious peoples, including religious anti-theists. The religious people of pre-Columbian American Mexico conquered other tribes simply to sacrifice them to Aztec gods. The religious people of Imperial Japan committed unspeakable crimes against the Chinese in following their national religion. The religious Nazis, who loathed passionately both Christianity and Judaism, committed unspeakable crimes against Jews, Poles and others. The religious anti-theists of Stalinist Russia and Maoist China murdered more than any other religion in history. And, of course, radical Islam murders indiscriminately.
No crimes of Judeo-Christians remotely approaches the holocausts of Aztecs, Japanese, Nazis, atheist Russia or atheist Japan. Why? Because all religions are not the same. Some religions are good and some religions are bad. Almost every single movement or belief which we now consider good originated in Christianity or Judaism. Abolitionism, prison reform, compassion for animals, equality before the law, medical science, systematic intellectual inquiry - nearly everything - traces back to a Christian or a Jew.
If the anti-theists want to pick on Christians and Jews (and that does seem to be the real thrust of militant atheism) for sometimes acting badly, it is imperative to note that both Christianity and Judaism accept the notion of sin. Both faiths believe that we all morally fail sometimes and both faiths have a religious process for repentance and renewal, which allows us to live moral lives, even if all lives are imperfect. Does this work? Again, the history of Jews and Christians is a testament that serious faith produces, quite simply, the best people on earth.
What of the new god, Science? One of the most compelling facts of science is that it debunks itself. Maxwell, one of the the greatest physicists in history (and a devout Christian), worked out the equations in the 1860s which postulated that the speed of light is finite. Michaelson and Morley decades later calculated the speed of light at 186,000 miles per second. God created an absolute bar to what we can ever know about reality that is 187,000 miles away from us at the moment of our birth and is traveling at the speed of light away from us. This is not a theoretical bar: it is an absolute, irrevocable bar.
At the subatomic level, we can never predict exactly what will happen. The Uncertainty Principle, which has been loitering inconveniently around the science of Quantum Physics for about eighty years, still rules. Quantum Mechanics always allows for an excellent statistical expectation of what will happen at the subatomic level, but it never allows certainty. God has created another absolute bar to human knowledge.
One might think that those who worship science would wake up. Knowing much beyond what we already know about the universe is increasingly improbable. No serious person today can think that material benefits will make us happier - not in a society in which the greatest health problem is obesity and the greatest emotional problem is boredom.
And how do we sate our boredom? Increasingly, our entertainment is horrific and perverse. Our obsession with violence, promiscuous sex and dangerous drugs is as obvious as the cure to those sicknesses: God. Without God, we cannot even imagine anything good (if you doubt that, try to imagine Heaven.) Those who reject God suffer from the Godless Delusion.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.