Monday, August 15, 2011
“In Britain, everything is policed except crime.”
Over the weekend, I came across the above seven words. I think they summarize exceedingly well much of what is wrong with the current state of UK law and law enforcement as well as why the riots got so out of hand.
I wish I could take credit for said words, but they are Mark Steyn’s. Of course, his quip overstates his case slightly for purposes of impact and humor. But they are deliciously on target nonetheless.
Why do these words resonate so much with me? Back in 2007, I saw a photo in the Daily Mail of a scraggly gentleman being caught red-handed conducting a smash-and-grab on a car. You see, the car was booby-trapped with a camera which took a wonderful photo of the gentlemen.
But what shocked me was the caption. Without further comment, it noted his sentence. I wish I could remember the sentence or find the photo online, but I do remember it was a slap on the wrist, outrageously so. And, no, he was no juvenile. He looked well above 30.
Also back in 2007, I remember seeing, and most definitely hearing, animal rights protesters out the window of the Bodleian Library. The protesters, complete with at least one very loud megaphone, were intentionally disrupting an Oxford graduation ceremony. And I saw this act at more than one such ceremony.
Now certainly the protesters have their right to free speech. But they do not have the right to disrupt an once-in-a-lifetime ceremony as well as those reading in the Bodley. Well, actually they do in the UK, complete with police protection no less.
This mentality allowed the riots to get out of hand. What, it took three days for Cameron to suggest water cannons? What about rubber bullets? No wonder the looters ravaged without fear. Common sense required a tough response on the very first night. But common sense is lacking among UK authorities. They do precious little to defend your property. Hell, they hardly allow you to defend your property.
In the UK, it seems at times that criminals have more rights than citizens who wish to live a quiet and peaceable life. “In Britain, everything is policed except crime.”