Friday, October 24, 2008

'Police are unable to visit 40% of crime victims because of a fog of administration', says British chief constable

Four in ten victims of crime are not visited by a police officer, a chief constable has admitted. Matt Baggott, who is the country's most senior officer for neighbourhood policing, blamed a 'fog of over-supervision and administration'. The Leicestershire chief constable said: 'We do not have the time to do our jobs properly. 'There are no excuses about money. This is about leadership.' He believes every victim should receive a police visit. But critics say many forces no longer attend the scenes of minor crimes, such as theft or vandalism.

Mr Baggott is the first officer to place a figure on the number of incidents that are simply investigated over the phone, with the victim being handed a crime number to give to their insurer. He told a conference in London: 'At the moment we do not visit 40 per cent of crime victims. 'We are not dealing with the moment of misery in their life thoroughly.'

He fears that this approach will make it harder to find out how crimes were able to take place and whether there were any other problems in the neighbourhood. This has a knock-on effect on public trust in policing. According to research conducted for Mr Baggott, for every negative experience of the police, officers must do 14 positive acts locally to repair the damage to their reputation.

He urged officers to free themselves from red tape and targets by engaging in 'structured anarchy' - challenging excessive bureaucracy to persuade policy-makers to scrap it. He wants constables to have the same freedoms as GPs, who do not need permission from superiors to write prescriptions or decide how to treat patients. At present, junior officers have to check their actions with sergeants.

Mr Baggott also wants all criminals to be met at the prison gates to dissuade the 70 per cent who reoffend from doing so. He said they should be placed under such close supervision that they could not commit any more crimes. Former Police Federation chairman Jan Berry, who now works as a red tape tsar for the Home Office, backed Mr Baggott's comments. She said: 'We have got too many people complying with sets of rules that are doing nothing for neighbourhood safety.' She added there was a danger of 'losing the momentum' in tackling red tape and targets since a report into slashing bureaucracy by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, was published earlier this year.

Mr Baggott's comments follow a damning report by the Civitas thinktank warning that the middle classes have lost confidence in the police. The study found responses to crimes such as burglary were slow and statements given by victims of serious crime were often left lying idle for months.

Last month, it emerged that complaints against police officers in England and Wales had risen to record levels. Accord to the Independent Police Complaints Commission there were 48,280 complaints in the year to March, up five per cent on the previous year and the highest total since independent investigations began more than 20 years ago. Most of the complaints concerned alleged failures to investigate or record crimes properly.


Following the Rules

For some time now, we have heard news of failed economies and failed com-panies, failed markets and failed marriages, failed domestic and foreign policies, failing cities and failing states, failing students and failing institutions. Oddly omitted in this news has been mention of the primary reason for these failures: a failure to play by the rules essential to rational living.

Approximately half of the US population doesn't like these essential rules. These people call themselves liberals. They support the modern permissive culture, the culture of self-indulgent rule breaking.

The other half of the US population knows that human beings have to follow certain rules to have good lives. These people call themselves conservatives and libertarians. They defend a traditional culture of restraint. These people know the following facts of life:
* In the care of our bodies we have to obey the rules of physics, chemistry and biology. If we don't obey those rules, the result is injury, disease and death. The epidemics of substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and obesity in America illustrate the point.

* In marital and family relationships we have to follow certain rules regard-ing fidelity, thoughtfulness, and responsibility. If we don't obey those rules, the result is emotional pain and family breakdown. The epidemic of divorce and broken families illustrates the point.

* In economic transactions we have to obey the laws of supply, demand, price and scarcity. If we don't obey by those rules, the result is economic failure and material loss. The current worldwide credit and financial crises illustrate the point.

* In social behavior we have to follow rules of honesty, fairness, mutuality, and courtesy. If we don't obey those rules, the result is social turmoil. The American epidemic of rudeness, vulgarity and violence illustrates the point.

* In political transactions we have to follow rules set out in our Constitution that protect individuals from harmful actions by governments. If we don't obey those rules, the result is economic chaos and political warfare. The ongoing transformation of America from a reasonably peaceful and well coordinated capitalist society into a highly conflicted collectivist battle-ground illustrates the point.
Since all of this is quite obvious (with a little reflection), the question arises as to why so many of us don't follow the rules that make our lives better. Surely, we know the risks: history tells us that any society that fails to follow the rules suffers mightily, and eventually collapses.

One answer to the question of why we don't follow the rules arises from the fact that human beings are driven by primitive appetites. We are driven by sexual and aggressive impulses, by attachment and dependent impulses, by acquisitive and narcissistic impulses.

These impulses are part of our biology. Their wired-in demands are extremely powerful. When they are not properly restrained by good enough child-rearing and strong enough cultural constraints, they push us to break whatever rules we encounter. In particular, our primitive impulses tell us to break the rules that govern economic, social, and political processes. When we do that, we suffer financial disasters, political and social conflict, broken marriages and families, ill health and premature death.

In fact, we now have an American culture dedicated to rule breaking. The second half of the 20th century witnessed the rise of the modern liberal agenda's permissive culture: easy sex, easy drugs, easy credit, easy debt, easy violence, easy lies. It is a movement committed in the name of illusory freedom to the satisfaction of human appetites -- at the expense of authentic freedom grounded in self-discipline. It is a movement drunk on unaffordable self-indulgence.

Our current economic, social, and political crises are the consequences of rule breaking; they are the wages of secular sins. In its monumental lack of restraint, its colossal sense of entitlement, its stunning mendacity, its callous indifference to destructive policies, its assault on the foundations of freedom, modern liberalism is a rule breaking juggernaut of global proportions. In all corners of the planet, the indulgence of unrestrained impulses is destroying the ethical and moral discipline essential to ordered liberty.

Friedrich Hayek described many years ago the modern liberal's fatal economic conceit: the delusion that central economic planning works. In fact, it does not and cannot work, because it violates the laws of economics and ignores human nature. But modern liberalism is now enthralled with an even grander fatal conceit: the belief that whole societies can break not only the rules that govern economic processes but also the rules that govern social, political, marital and personal processes.

The modern epidemic of global rule breaking is a form of societal insanity. Our contemporary cultural decay in every major sector of adult life is Exhibit A. The epidemic will not be broken until we stop breaking the rules.


Voter fraud

Republicans and Democrats alike should be up in arms because voter fraud is a direct threat to freedom and bedrock American beliefs. Outlets for voters to express their concern are available on both sides of the political divide - and well they should be.

As news reports demonstrate, the voters' concern over fraud is not unfounded. In Florida, we've got people registering Mickey Mouse to vote. In Nevada, they attempted to register the Dallas Cowboys' starting lineup. Ohio has unfortunately been plagued by persistent and widespread voter registration fraud this year. Stories of teenagers signing dozens of registration forms and criminals brazenly voting multiple times with fake addresses dominate the evening news coverage and fill the morning papers.

The actions of unscrupulous activists have been made easier by rulings on early voting, and an overall indifference to fraud from the state's top elections official. New opportunities now exist for widespread fraud, which could seriously compromise the accuracy of this election. For example, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner recently interpreted Ohio law to allow for people to cast an absentee ballot on the same day that they register to vote. Her edict on that issue is one of many she will have to address as concerns of voter registration and voting fraud continue to grow. Ms. Brunner's recent bombshell announcement that 200,000 of the state's 660,000 new voter registrations are in question raises the stakes. This means information provided by a person registering does not match that person's corresponding information on file at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration.

Ms. Brunner then took the extraordinary step of refusing to provide the mismatched voter data to county election officials. After vigorous objections by Ohio Republicans and the free-market think tank the Buckeye Institute, a federal district court and its appellate court ordered her to make the information available. The matter made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that federal courts lacked jurisdiction. Republican lawyers are now arguing the case before Ohio's Supreme Court.

Ohioans, I suspect, find Ms. Brunner's protestations curious. They want Ms. Brunner to make sure the voter rolls are correct and fraud free. In fact, voters across the country want that too. They do not want to be embroiled in months of post-election litigation and uncertainty. Imagine a repeat of Florida 2000 occurring in Ohio or in multiple states across the country, with disputes over who was properly registered, where fraud occurred and which votes should count. It will make the "hanging chad" debacle look like a walk in the park.

This, however, can be avoided by closely examining suspicious registration and voting activity now, while there is still time to prevent these fraudulent votes from entering the system. Fraudulent activity undermines the fundamentals of democracy. Voter fraud contaminates the integrity of our election system.

The right to vote is one of our most basic rights, and it is subverted whenever a qualified voter's ballot is denied or when a legal vote is nullified by a fraudulent vote. Our election process must therefore receive the most vigorous protection possible, to ensure that all legal votes are counted, while all illegal votes are not. To protect the integrity of their vote, citizens can go to websites like and give added voice to a national effort to stop fraud.

To their credit, many states have initiated investigations into voter fraud, and some courts have acted to force officials to examine or adjust their voting practices. But leaving the future of our country in the hands of others is never a wise idea.

A clear message from the voting public is the most effective way to ensure that secretaries of state and other authorities vigorously protect voters - and this country - from unsavory activists who are looking to subvert the election.


Hate shortage

Not on the Left, of course

The New York Times headline seems a candidate for bottom story of the day: "Hate Groups Mostly Quiet in Election":
So stands the state of organized racism in 2008, paralyzed and at a crossroads in what would presumably be a pressing moment of action--the possibility that Senator Barack Obama will become the first black president--but has so far not been. . . .

"What we really haven't seen is white supremacists really rallying over an Obama presidency," said Mark Potok, the director of intelligence at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. "Hate groups are in a more or less stunned position right now; they haven't been able to figure out how to proceed just yet."
Could this be because "hate groups" are something of an urban legend? Obviously white supremacists exist, but the Times was able to find only one to interview: the delightfully named Bill White, head of the American National Socialist Workers Party.

The report details the recent activities of a few other putative white supremacists, although they do not seem all that devoted to their putative ideology. The notorious David Duke, the Times reports, "has, in fact, written positively about the prospect of Mr. Obama's being elected," and he is not alone:
In one sign of shifting mores, James Knowles, a former Ku Klux Klan member who was convicted in a 1981 lynching, said in a Discovery Channel documentary by Ted Koppel that Mr. Obama was a potentially acceptable candidate. "People need to vote for him because of his ideas and the veracity that he displays in what he does, and not because he's African-American," Mr. Knowles said.
We live in an era in which not only is a black man heavily favored to become the next president of the United States, but former Ku Klux Klan members use the term "African-American." It seems reasonable to surmise that hate groups have been more than "stunned," as the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok says. They have been all but eradicated.

So why does anyone pretend otherwise? Well, cui bono? Mark Potok for one, who gets paid to "track" these groups. If they no longer exist, neither does his job. Also Barack Obama pals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who, as blogger Steve Bartin notes, have a new book coming out bearing the odd title "Race Course Against White Supremacy." The belief that white supremacy remains a significant force in American life also entails psychic and political rewards for liberal Democrats, who get to feel morally superior to putatively bigoted GOP voters and scare blacks into remaining in the Democratic fold.

Source (See the original for links)


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, OBAMA WATCH (2), 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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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