Idiocy, absolute fucking idiocy

All new police officers will need a degree under major changes to forces’ recruitment rules.
Before pounding the beat, recruits will either have to study policing at university, complete a conversion course if they graduated in another subject, or do a three-year ‘degree apprenticeship’.
The move, announced by the College of Policing today, is set to cost forces millions as they will pay for many courses.

Out here in the real world we’ve all realised that demanding a degree from everyone just delays anyone doing any real work by a few years and pushes up the entry requirements into the same damn jobs that everyone was doing before. The British police have always had a rather good training system. You join the force, you plod for a couple of years and then we’ll see about the rest.

Why the fuck are they changing something that works?

87 comments on “Idiocy, absolute fucking idiocy

  1. A more sensible course might have been to award some sort of degree after suitable training and experience. Come to think of it, that might have been a more suitable procedure for nurses too. That’s if you wish to believe that “all must have prizes”.

  2. This is the same thing as in nursing. The bureaucracy all have degrees, so they place a higher value on a degree. It might be some useless piece of shite, but it’s a qualification, and they’re good, apparently. Fucking nonsense.

  3. Why the fuck are they changing something that works?

    The British police works? Just about, perhaps. if they’re going to keep following this downward trajectory of utter uselessness, they might as well get a useless degree while they’re at it. The whole thing needs tearing down and starting again.

  4. From the source article, it’s the suggestion of the average bobby spending their time ” patrolling online” that I find more scary.

  5. If you thought the police wasted too much time chasing people on Twitter now, just wait until they all have degrees in Grievance Studies.

    This will be a fucking disaster in ten years time. Jesus. Ordinary people already think the police are out of touch and don’t have their interests at heart. Just wait until they are all university educated SJWs.

  6. What Rob said – this is to ensure the indoctrination of all those who’ve so far resisted conversion to ‘social justice’ theories of crime.

  7. Agreed wholeheartedly. My wife used to be a police officer – she said the training was top notch, and you had people coming into it from a whole load of different backgrounds. Making a degree a pre-requisite will change that instantly.

    That’s a point actually – won’t this indirectly decrease diversity?

    Quick google suggests it’s not that big a deal: http://www.ethnicity.ac.uk/medialibrary/briefingsupdated/how-are-ethnic-inequalities-in-education-changing.pdf

  8. “The British police have always had a rather good training system. You join the force, you plod for a couple of years…”

    There’s the flaw in your argument. How many police do any plodding nowadays? That’s all left to plastic police officers Community Enforcement Officers.

    To be fair a lot of police work now is quite technical what with on line and and white collar crimes.

    And I agree with previous posts, this isn’t going to end well for tax payers and victims of crimes.

  9. Nothing like a degree to eradicate common sense, as per nursing, as per journalism but it does give the cultural marxists a stranglehold.

  10. It is to ensure the state’s costumed thugs are SJW thug-stooges instead of just thugs.

    There is a CM controlled hierarchy amongst the BluScum already but this is to ensure it goes all the way down to the street. To ensure they are all SJW scum not just the boss class.

  11. Unless you give the police a big pay rise to make up for the cost of going to university, you are making new policemen poorer -why is this a good idea?

  12. No doubt credentialalisation would have provided a further & amusing chapter for Parkinson. If Parkinson had had to suffer significant numbers of university graduates.

  13. This measure has been championed for some years by the College of Policing. Guess who will have the monopoly on awarding the Policing degree?

  14. O’Sullivan’s Law, yet again. History will show this to be a dark day for the country. I wonder if the police’s strike ban will survive this?

    Do the College of Policing really just get to decide this stuff for themselves? Don’t the government get a say?

  15. I noticed that the call for policemen to have a degree or take a three-year “graduate apprenticeship” comes from the College of Policing.
    “Give us more customers” by compelling all non-graduate recruits to come to us!

  16. Hang on. If I understand the obsessions of the Left correctly, two of the biggest problems in our society are that the police don’t treat rape victims well enough and there’s a rape epidemic in our universities. Does that make recruiting more police from universities a Good Plan?

  17. “Why the fuck are they changing something that works?”

    I think the answer is in there, they are changing it because it works. Fucking up everything that works isn’t something they can achieve overnight, but they are working on it…

  18. College of Policing’s announcement comes after over 2sula,000 said they wanted to gain accreditation for existing skills

    Eh?

    Anyway, if only we had a department of state which could step in and say “What the Fuck?” and put a stop to this bullshit.

  19. What was the entry requirement 30 or more years ago, before “grade inflation”. For example, could one leave school at 16 with one O level at grade 6 (?) and join the police force?

    Given that some modern degrees are completely worthless, is this just ensuring that the entry qualification keeps up with what was previously required?

  20. The third option is for them to fund their own studies for a degree in policing, although they will still have to successfully apply to become a police officer after completing it.

    Oh, great. So we’ll have loads of people with degrees in policing who can’t become actual police officers. What are they going to do?

  21. I’ll disagree with most commenters here. Had dealings with the police a fair amount over the past 6 years (none of them as the perpetrator) and when I was a young adult (sometimes as the guilty party) and policing is much more complex now. Hugely so. Vulnerable people, human rights etc plus a whole range of offences that were never even dreamt of when I was young (particularly online) or complex ones like child sex abuse.

    All these require lots and lots of internal police training and updating.

    So a better degree of training before they become fully fledged officers probably makes a lot of financial sense. It’s cheaper and more efficient than the rather haphazard ‘fill in the gaps’ that they have now.

    Plus most entrants will likely go for ‘graduate apprenticeship’, so have no need to go to Uni.

    When the job becomes more complex, you need better training that is the same across all police areas and is economical.

  22. Sq2

    “Oh, great. So we’ll have loads of people with degrees in policing who can’t become actual police officers. What are they going to do?”

    Stacking shelves, flipping burgers and call centres are all trending well at the moment.

  23. The job has not “become” more complex. It has been complicated by the rise of CM scum and general expansion of statism, snooping and general tinpot tyranny.

    The solution Is the widespread abolition of legions of piss stupid laws and the Bluebottles to concentrate on actual crime rather than promoting thought-crime and CM tyranny.

  24. To some extent, all professions are conspiracies against the public interest. By insisting on credentials and limiting access to the profession, the profession is able to increase its perceived status and so demand higher pay. In the private sector, this can also ensure that a profession sets and enforces minimum standards. In the public sector, it is invariably a disaster, leading to staff insisting that certain tasks are beneath their status and that armies of lower-status workers have to be employed to do the grunt work. This has already happened in nursing* and is appearing in policing (with traffic wardens, PCSOs, civilian clerks).

    *I once visited an elderly aunt in hospital. She had knocked her lunch off her tray and was hungry and confused. I asked a group of nurses (reading magazines at the ward desk) to clear up the mess and get my aunt another meal. The reply was, “That’s not really our job”. I was insistent, so they took action reluctantly.

  25. Ecks is nailing it in this thread. Colourfully, of course, but nailing it.

    (in my few dealings with the police – never as the bad guy, of course – they’ve been useless. One of my favourites was the gang going around the neighbourhood slashing car fuel lines: the filth didn’t even turn up, so a local ex-army guy had to form us up in a posse to chase them off)

  26. Doug,

    All of that was said about nursing too.

    > When the job becomes more complex, you need better training that is the same across all police areas and is economical.

    I strongly doubt that this will be economical long-term. But, that aside, why on Earth does the training need to be the same for different forces? If different forces are allowed to do things differently, then some will do stuff better than others, which encourages innovation and improvement.

    Building cars is pretty complex. Do you think everyone who works for every different car manufacturer should get identical training? If they did, would we get better cars?

  27. @S2

    Nope. Damned useless analogy. You can buy whatever car you want that’s why competition works.

    You can not use whatever police you want.

    Plus we have the law, which in principle we’d like to apply all equally across the country. You’re suggesting that police forces should experiment in different ways of applying the law across the country. You can already see a tidal wave of clusterf*ck coming from that.

  28. “Theo

    I am guessing that we would agree that nursing and policing are not “professions”?”

    But those few words tell us why they would wish to make them so.

  29. @Ecks

    “The job has not “become” more complex.”

    Course it has. Loads more laws, digital age etc.

    You might say the extra laws a bunch of crap, and you might be right, but the police don’t have the luxury of that. Most of us do not want them to pick and choose.

    Get the politicians to change the laws, not the police.

  30. > in my few dealings with the police – never as the bad guy, of course – they’ve been useless.

    I once had to call the jokes that are Strathclyde’s finest in a proper emergency, as violent thugs were trying to break down my front door. Turned out the violent thugs were trying to find a water leak which was flooding their flat, but they were still violent thugs. They’d literally smashed their way into the empty flat below mine and then started trying to smash down my door. It didn’t occur to them to knock first, because they were violent thugs. When they realised there was someone in the flat and started shouting at us that we should let them in because they were looking for a water leak, it sounded understandably unconvincing. It was frankly fucking terrifying. Have to say, though, that front door of mine was pretty damn impressive.

    When the police turned up, not only were they not interested in arresting or even criticising the bastards for breaking and entering and criminal damage in the flat below or for terrifying my girlfriend, but they actually told me off for not letting them in.

    I was young. These days, I’d take the shit’s number and make an official complaint. I’ve certainly not trusted the police since.

    I’ve known some police officers, who are nice decent people, and seem to be good at their jobs and have integrity. I’m not convinced that they’re representative, and I know for a fact that their personal common-sense beliefs and preferences are often at odds with what their regulations and their bosses’ stupid priorities force them to do (one, for instance, is (privately) a staunch advocate of women carrying weapons to defend themselves). So I’ve known police officers I trust. But I don’t trust the police.

    I know this has been said many a time, but just how badly have they fucked up to achieve that? People like me — law-abiding non-violent civilised citizens — used to be their natural supporters. And now hardly any of us trust them. And it’s not even as if they sacrificed our support in return for the approval of some other demographic.

  31. PF
    Yes, we would agree about that. Unfortunately, everyone from hairdressers to environmental health officers to PR consultants now aspires to professional status.

  32. Well thats the end of the police force then. The whole ‘you must have a degree to become a nurse’ fucked the NHS, now the police will go down the same shit hole route. I mean its not as if they are a shining beacon of hope in the State apparatus, but this will just drop them right into the shit with all the other State ‘services’.

    it was obviously going to go this way – you already have the nurse/orderly divide in the NHS mirrored in the police force with full police officers and PCSOs. This is just a way of making that divide formal and wider. Officers with degrees will not deign to deal with the grubby public, that will be the job of the PCSO skivs.

  33. “People like me — law-abiding non-violent civilised citizens — used to be their natural supporters. And now hardly any of us trust them.”

    Thats exactly it. I’m the epitome of middle class respectability, privately educated, law abiding in every sense (ok sometime i DO drive over 70 mph…), so square you could cut yourself on me, and if I think the police a bunch of bent thugs, then they have a real problem.

  34. SQ2:“I know this has been said many a time, but just how badly have they fucked up to achieve that? People like me — law-abiding non-violent civilised citizens — used to be their natural supporters. And now hardly any of us trust them. “

    This.

  35. > Damned useless analogy. You can buy whatever car you want that’s why competition works. You can not use whatever police you want.

    Who said anything about competition? I was talking about diversity (not in the SJW sense). British town councils routinely see ideas tried in other towns and decide to copy them. Hanse Mondemann’s traffic-management ideas have caught on across Europe for precisely that reason. Concealed-carry legislation spread from one US state to another as they saw what it did to crime statistics.

    You could put this in terms of competition, I suppose (are US states competing with each other?), but competition for end-users or customers is not the only competition. One police force might discover an innovative new way of cutting burglary rates without increasing their budget. If they did, other police forces would probably want to copy it. Can you explain why that can’t happen because the public can’t choose a different police force?

    > You’re suggesting that police forces should experiment in different ways of applying the law across the country.

    Well, I have now, three sentences ago, but I didn’t in the comment you were replying to, no. We were talking about training methods and courses. If I suggest that different banks should be allowed to have different training courses on fighting money laundering (which they do), that doesn’t imply I’m suggesting they all obey the law to different degrees. They all try to obey the law fully (no, really), and they can all come up with their own approaches to staff training to achieve that. There’s no contradiction there.

    But OK, let’s now suggest that police forces should experiment in different ways of applying the law across the country.

    > You can already see a tidal wave of clusterf*ck coming from that.

    Such as in Swindon, where they turned off every speed camera and the number of road accidents decreased. To be clear: that would have been just as valuable an experiment if the rate had increased. It is by trying different things that we learn what works. That’s the same in every other human endeavour; why not policing?

  36. Doug: “You might say the extra laws a bunch of crap, and you might be right, but the police don’t have the luxury of that. Most of us do not want them to pick and choose.”

    The SJWs do. And with their cookie-cutter socjus ‘degree’, they’ll get their way.

  37. > You might say the extra laws a bunch of crap, and you might be right, but the police don’t have the luxury of that. Most of us do not want them to pick and choose. Get the politicians to change the laws, not the police.

    I think this displays a very naive misunderstanding of the relationship between the police and the laws these days. The police lobby very effectively for changes in the law, and they certainly do pick and choose which ones to bother enforcing.

    You’re also making the usual mistake of thinking that the law is only a load of stuff written down in statute books, when it is in fact a combination of that and precedent. The reason we have no blasphemy law in England was not a change in statute but the police’s refusal to arrest. (I happen to think the police were right in that case.) Freedom of speech and freedom of religion came about as a result of juries’ refusal to convict. These mechanisms are every bit as much a part of the law as actual legislation is. So yes, the police do get to make law.

  38. “I am guessing that we would agree that nursing and policing are not “professions”?” Be fair: most people who style themselves “professionals” aren’t.

  39. @dearieme
    The question is: “Is this person competent to perform this role?” The “professions” attempt to answer this by providing credentials that the person has been “trained” to perform this role. They tell you nothing about their competence.

  40. Doug–The laws are written in a manner sufficiently vague as to allow the BluDross and the Criminal Protection Society vast latitude as to who gets rousted for what.

    The magic phrase “Not in the public interest” very often gives the clue as to who it is “politick” to prosecute or not prosecute.

    In any–and every–case “Only Obeying Orders (O3?)” doesn’t cut it anymore.

  41. Tim Newman,
    > The British police works?

    The police service seems to work, as crime keeps falling. According to the British Crime Survey, the number of victims of both property crime and violent crime has halved since the mid-90s.

    That might be down to factors other than better policing; but in light of falling crime rates, it’s hard to make the case that the police service needs reforming.

    BiS,
    > [credentials] tell you nothing about their competence.

    Sometimes they do. There are two types of “professionals”: those who passed a course once and call themselves a professional forever thereafter; and those who are continuously registered with a professional body which can kick out incompetents. For example when you hire a lawyer, you don’t just want a bloke who passed a law degree thirty years ago: you want someone who is actively practicing, keeping their knowledge up-to-date, and who hasn’t had screwed up badly enough to get struck off.

    For police though, the relevant professional body is the police service itself (or arguably the Independent Police Complaints Commission, since they’re the ones with the powers to kick you out): so all they’re gaining is the credential.

  42. Andrew M: You answered your own point. Crime figs are recorded by the coppers. They are not trustworthy–neither the coppers nor the figures. Want more money/staff–up go the recorded crimes. People want to know what they are getting for their money? Down go the crime figures.

    Simples.

  43. @S2

    People like me — law-abiding non-violent civilised citizens — used to be their natural supporters. And now hardly any of us trust them

    The response to this is normally “well, wait until you need us in an emergency, then you’ll think differently” but it seems you can answer that one too.

  44. Crime figs are recorded by the coppers.

    He referred to the British Crime Survey, which I don’t believe looks at recorded crimes by the police. Interviews with the public, isn’t it?

  45. Why the fuck are they changing something that works?

    Because credentialism. ‘We’re not professional if we’re not educated and we’re not educated unless we have a slip of paper that says we are’.

    The US military is pushing this sort of thing itself for the enlisted ranks – though, obviously, not as an *entry* requirement but to be eligible for SNCO-equivalent ranks.

    Its already a de-facto requirement to have at least a 2 year degree to pick up E-9 in the US Navy and soon it will be an official one. The plan, as laid out, is to eventually push that 2 year requirement down to the E-6/7 level with a 4 year degree required to make the highest ranks.

  46. > The US military is pushing this sort of thing itself

    To be fair, the US military already provides a far better education than American universities, so they may as well provide the bit of paper to go with it.

  47. Bloke in North Dorset
    December 15, 2016 at 10:21 am

    To be fair a lot of police work now is quite technical what with on line and and white collar crimes.

    I think the problem there is unless the investigating team has a degree applicable to the technical field the crime was committed in then they’re not going to be any less clueless than any other cop.

    If you have a degree in ‘Generic Policing’ you’re not going to be any more qualified to investigate a white collar crime than any other cop – and less qualified than one that’s been on the force for 4 years more than you have.

    If you *do* have a degree in finance or computer science – you’re probably working in those field instead of policing. And the cops that that do have the requisite education got it later in life to make them more competitive for promotion.

  48. Squander Two
    December 15, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    > The US military is pushing this sort of thing itself

    To be fair, the US military already provides a far better education than American universities, so they may as well provide the bit of paper to go with it.

    They’re not providing the paper – you have to get it yourself from an accredited university.

    They do, however, provide a decent amount of support to help get that paper.

  49. How do you know who is a victim if a crime has not been recorded by the Blubottles?

    “The Crime Survey for England and Wales has measured crime in since 1981. Used alongside police recorded crime data it is a valuable source of information for the government about the extent and nature of crime in England and Wales. ”

    So it’s a fucking poll–can’t be wrong can it?

    “The survey measures crime by asking members of the public, such as yourself, about their experiences of crime over the last 12 months. In this way the survey records all types of crimes experienced by people, including those crimes that may not have been reported to the police ( or may never even have happened– Ecks). It is important that we hear from people who have experienced crime and also those who have not experienced any crime in the last 12 months, so that we can show an accurate picture of crime in the country.

    In 2015/2016 around 50,000 households across England and Wales will be invited to participate in the survey (On what basis? Ecks). In previous years three quarters of households invited to take part agreed to participate. It is thanks to this cooperation from the public that the survey can provide the robust information needed by government to make important decisions about policies related to crime and justice. ”

    I suspect “robust” in this context doesn’t mean what they think it means.

  50. Mr Ecks,
    > Crime figs are recorded by the coppers.
    Rob,
    > Interviews with the public, isn’t it?
    What Rob says. The British Crime Survey (latterly the Crime Survey of England & Wales, because the Scots decided that if they compiled their own stats then they could conceal their own incompetence) is completely independent of the police themselves.

  51. The Crime Survey people should ask punters to ring them after they have rung the police. That way they would get people who have been victimised , in larger numbers and would be able to check what the Blueglow ( “Say to the Court it glows and shines like rotten wood”) have actually done about the crimes reported to them.

    Much better than random surveys like ad men judging their Fishfinger Campaign.

  52. The trouble with crime statistics — including the accurate ones from the British Crime Survey — is something that Tony Blair actually understood quite well, when he started talking about not just crime but the fear of crime. That has been much derided by “clever” people like Dara O’Briain, who say that if crime goes down and the fear of crime goes up then we should ignore the fear of crime because the frightened people are frightened irrationally. But Blair was right and the clever people are wrong, because in fact it’s a classic example of a feedback mechanism in a statistic.

    If an elderly person lives on an estate where it’s too dangerous to go out after dark because the place is ruled by violent criminal gangs, then what they do is they don’t go out after dark, and therefore they don’t get attacked. So, for that one person, the crime rate has gone down because the fear of crime has gone up.

    And we see examples of this everywhere. Posters in Tube stations advising us not to be looking at our phones as we leave the station as it makes us an easy target; official police advice to Jews not to wear yarmulkes or otherwise look Jewish in public: examples of the authorities actually deliberately increasing the fear of crime in order to reduce actual crime.

    And surely we should have a healthy background level of fear, or at least wariness, of crime because we don’t live in a utopia. But there’s a good argument that the current necessary level is too high.

  53. > If you *do* have a degree in finance or computer science – you’re probably working in those field instead of policing.

    Not necessarily. If you have a degree in forensic science, you’re probably working in policing — but you’re not a police officer. Which answers the question, really: yes, criminal investigations require all sorts of technical expertise, but that expertise does not have to be held by actual police officers. Consultants and separate specialist departments are just fine.

  54. Sq2,

    Was Blair right though? Crime levels will always be closely correlated with fear of frime. Even if your hypothetical granny stays indoors most of the time for fear of being mugged, she’ll still venture out once a week to buy cat food. And other people on the estate will be going to work, or to school, or whatever.

    I agree about posters raising fear of crime, but at best that accounts for a one-off drop in crime levels, not the kind of consistent falls we’ve seen over the past two decades.

  55. @Doug
    “All these require lots and lots of internal police training and updating. ”
    True but is university the correct way to do it?

  56. If an elderly person lives on an estate where it’s too dangerous to go out after dark because the place is ruled by violent criminal gangs, then what they do is they don’t go out after dark, and therefore they don’t get attacked. So, for that one person, the crime rate has gone down because the fear of crime has gone up.

    Another good example would be the number of people killed or injured in accidents involving motor vehicles on a country lane with no pavement. Decades ago when there were vastly fewer cars, lots of people would have walked down it, and some would have been injured or killed in accidents with cars.

    Now hardly anyone in their right mind walks down it because of 4×4’s driven by women trying to sort out their toddler’s tantrum on the back seat, so there are fewer injuries and deaths.

    Do we have an improved situation though? No.

  57. not the kind of consistent falls we’ve seen over the past two decades.

    Didn’t I read somewhere recently that the police routinely did not record crimes, and to a surprising degree? 25% or thereabouts?

  58. What a load of bollocks. The real problem is having a centralised pay scale. If you need a couple of plod with the smarts to investigate hi-tec cyber crime it makes sense to recruit a couple of bright graduates (and pay them accordingly) rather than insist that the whole force has to have the necessary smarts.

    Alternatively, would you want to do a three-year degree in SJW to end up in a low paying job getting your head kicked in by a drunken knobhead every Saturday night?

    My old man was a copper in Liverpool city centre back in the 60’s and 70’s. By all accounts he was quite good despite his one O level. Mind you, being a six foot seven alpha male with a propensity for stick-twirling righteous violence probably isn’t what they look for these days.

    Ecksian purges for all.

  59. > Was Blair right though?

    All Blair said was that the authorities should address both, not just one, so yes.

    > at best that accounts for a one-off drop in crime levels, not the kind of consistent falls we’ve seen over the past two decades.

    Why? There have been huge changes in behaviour in this country over the last few decades revolving around taking measures to avoid crime that we used not to worry about. If millions of people now do lots of things to avoid crime that they used not to do, why can that not explain some of the drop in crime over that period?

    > Even if your hypothetical granny stays indoors most of the time for fear of being mugged, she’ll still venture out once a week to buy cat food. And other people on the estate will be going to work, or to school, or whatever.

    So what? I’m not saying no-one ever goes out and so there are never any crimes; I’m saying that people going out less decreases the number of crimes, and that, in the context of police efficacy, we shouldn’t regard that as some sort of victory against the criminals. If people’s behaviour is shaped by a fear of predatory criminals, that behaviour both lowers the crime rate and is symptomatic of a police failure.

  60. Sq2,

    Fair points, in theory. But I’m not aware of any figures which show that people are actually changing their behaviour because of increased fear of crime. And I want revealed preferences: what measures are people taking today, that they didn’t take twenty years ago?

    Rob,

    > Now hardly anyone in their right mind walks down it because of 4×4’s driven by women trying to sort out their toddler’s tantrum on the back seat

    Indeed; and no parent lets their kids walk to school alone any more. But that’s mostly about accidents, not (fear of) crime.

    > Do we have an improved situation though? No.

    Depends on your point of view. It’s an improved situation for the woman driving her 4×4 to her house in the country.

  61. > I’m not aware of any figures which show that people are actually changing their behaviour because of increased fear of crime.

    Burglar alarm sales? Insurance companies’ minimum standards for door and window locks?

    I’d mention sales figures for pepper spray, but of course the authorities banned it. However, it wouldn’t’ve occurred to them to ban it thirty years ago, because no-one was buying it.

  62. Jim,

    “Thats exactly it. I’m the epitome of middle class respectability, privately educated, law abiding in every sense (ok sometime i DO drive over 70 mph…), so square you could cut yourself on me, and if I think the police a bunch of bent thugs, then they have a real problem.

    Yep. Most people’s respect for the police doesn’t survive first contact. It doesn’t help that the police seem to be dressing more and more like Robocop but act more like an archetypal British jobsworth bureaucrat.

    S2,

    The trouble with crime statistics — including the accurate ones from the British Crime Survey — is something that Tony Blair actually understood quite well, when he started talking about not just crime but the fear of crime. That has been much derided by “clever” people like Dara O’Briain, who say that if crime goes down and the fear of crime goes up then we should ignore the fear of crime because the frightened people are frightened irrationally. But Blair was right and the clever people are wrong, because in fact it’s a classic example of a feedback mechanism in a statistic.

    If an elderly person lives on an estate where it’s too dangerous to go out after dark because the place is ruled by violent criminal gangs, then what they do is they don’t go out after dark, and therefore they don’t get attacked. So, for that one person, the crime rate has gone down because the fear of crime has gone up.

    Which is why we have the constant tension between the general public who want to see more police on the beat, preferably Mr Pants’ dad, and Police Chiefs who tell us its not efficient. It would be nice to think that one day they’ll remember that they work for us.

  63. “In 2011 a review by Tom Winsor warned that some policemen and women were ‘barely literate’ because the educational standards required to join the service were so low.”

    Degrees because state education is crap?

    “Now the College of Policing wants all police to have degrees, so ‘the public should receive the same level of service regardless of where they live’. ”

    Oh, god, this is such an HR/SJW rationale for changing anything. Completely unrelated to anything useful.

    “They can complete a ‘degree apprenticeship’, due to be introduced next year, which will see recruits undertake a three-year course while receiving a salary and having the university academic component funded by their force.”

    Who will be backing these loans? If a degree is a prerequisite, there’s an obvious conflict of interest. What grading curve should we have to pass enough candidates to fill the ranks?

  64. Sq2,

    > Burglar alarm sales?

    Like most consumer goods, they keep getting cheaper: so people buy more of them. That’s assuming they actually are buying more: I can’t find any sales figures.

    > Insurance companies’ minimum standards for door and window locks?

    People are being coerced to buy stronger locks. That tells us nothing about what individuals would choose in the absence of such coercion.

    Look, I’m quite willing to believe that people are taking steps to avoid crime, steps which negatively affect their quality of life. I just haven’t found much evidence of it.

    One concrete example is that after 9/11, millions of Americans decided they’d be safer driving long hours rather than flying. This tragically pushed up car accident statistics the following year. That’s a real, measurable reaction to a specific fear of crime. A year later, people came to their senses and went back to flying.

    We see similar effects for foreign holiday destinations: Spain is up, France is down, Egypt is out. Turkey is coming back though, as people realise that the coastal resorts are mostly immune from the Erdoganian purge.

    The best UK example I can come up with is parents these days not letting their kids walk to school lest they be kidnapped / raped / murdered (here’s some evidence). But even that is mostly just concern about traffic, not crime.

  65. AndrewM,

    “The police service seems to work, as crime keeps falling. According to the British Crime Survey, the number of victims of both property crime and violent crime has halved since the mid-90s.”

    That’s really down to a) China making cheap DVD players b) remotely disabled phones c) laying off the war on drugs d) ANPR camera systems e) all-day licensing. To explain:-

    a) it’s no longer worth robbing houses. No-one will take a hot DVD player off a bloke in a pub when they can buy a brand shiny new one from ASDA for £25. b) you can’t pinch phones and iPads as people will remotely disable them. Although even then, a reasonable phone is only a few quid a month on a package c) the government isn’t that hot on drugs because the people don’t care that much, so illegal narcotics are much cheaper than they were + treatment programs for addicts are better d) ANPR cameras have meant stealing a car will get you pinched rather quickly, so incentives for crime destroyed e) Violent crime between cold, pissed up blokes waiting for taxis has fallen massively as people leave when they please rather than all at 11:15, so no-one’s waiting so long for a cab.

    There is almost nothing that the police and judiciary are doing (except buying in ANPR cameras) which has lowered crime.

  66. BiW,
    I agree, the police themselves haven’t had much impact. But it’s bloody hard to reform a service when there’s no evidence that they are failing.

  67. The police lobby very effectively for changes in the law, and they certainly do pick and choose which ones to bother enforcing.

    With the ones they do enforce usually being the ones the public don’t want them to, and vice versa.

  68. >> Insurance companies’ minimum standards for door and window locks?

    > People are being coerced to buy stronger locks. That tells us nothing about what individuals would choose in the absence of such coercion.

    People aren’t just customers. Insurance companies are also composed of people. Insisting that their customers buy better locks is a change in behaviour by people. Furthermore, it is a change in behaviour by people who have access to very good crime statistics and who base their behaviour on those statistics.

    I’ll add that the post-Dunblane 90s saw soaring rates of crime and violent crime. I’m not particularly impressed that crime rates have decreased over the last 20 years. How about the last 35?

  69. > the post-Dunblane 90s saw soaring rates of crime and violent crime

    Not according to the BCS. Dunblane was in 1996; crime peaked in 1995 and has been falling steadily ever since.

    Crime alone isn’t a great metric: different crimes affect people in very different ways. The biggest drops since 1995 have been in domestic violence (see last graph here). Your granny on a council estate is experiencing fewer burglaries and car thefts; these are offset by a rise in “theft from the person” (pickpocketing) and robbery.

    Maybe it’s because the places I’ve lived have been steadily gentrifying, but things sure feel safer today than they did twenty years ago.

  70. Anyone else wonder if the reason the Police are much less popular is to do with the inherent limit of state power?

    To me the institution seems unable to succeed in many ways because the task passed to it are not really possible no matter how much money and people you throw at the problem.

    Police now have responsibilities for your kids, your terrible parenting, your school, your transport systems, your mental health, whilst working to a longer and longer rule book. The law society stopped counting British criminal offences at over 15,000. Police have more powers than ever and are less popular than ever.

    The populace keeps voting for politicians who promise that the state will wipe your arse, then complaining when nobody turns up with the toilet paper.

    Anyone, anyone at all…

  71. Not surprising that existing police don’t like it as they will have seen what happened in nursing when after a few years jobs and promotions all had a degree as a requirement thereby freezing out pre-degree staff, of course the requirement can be overlooked if you are the right sort of person or know the right person

  72. “The populace keeps voting for politicians who promise that the state will wipe your arse, then complaining when nobody turns up with the toilet paper.”

    Bit more nuanced than this – enough of the population do this to have made the Cons into SJWs. Plus of course the politicos can’t resist being seen to be doing something, generating ill thought out new laws being one result.

  73. > Not according to the BCS. Dunblane was in 1996; crime peaked in 1995 and has been falling steadily ever since.

    I could argue the point (if crime didn’t increase after the gun ban, why have there been so many attempts by academics and politicians to explain away the post-gun-ban crime increase?), but no need to bother. You’ve been saying that crime has dropped over the last twenty years. You now admit that crime peaked twenty-one years ago. Which was basically my point. I’m not doing cartwheels because crime is no longer at its historical peak.

    > Maybe it’s because the places I’ve lived have been steadily gentrifying, but things sure feel safer today than they did twenty years ago.

    I used to live in Govanhill, which was always a bit dodgy, but apparently has turned into the most dangerous part of Scotland since I left. Northern Ireland is admittedly safer these days.

  74. > The populace keeps voting for politicians who promise that the state will wipe your arse, then complaining when nobody turns up with the toilet paper.

    No, it’s worse than that: they complain when somebody does turn up. “What are you doing in here? What the fuck? This isn’t what I voted for! GET AWAY FROM MY ANUS!”

  75. “Crime alone isn’t a great metric: different crimes affect people in very different ways. The biggest drops since 1995 have been in domestic violence (see last graph here). Your granny on a council estate is experiencing fewer burglaries and car thefts; these are offset by a rise in “theft from the person” (pickpocketing) and robbery.”

    There’s also other factors in here, like that pensioners (like the rest of us) get money paid into bank accounts. They don’t have stashes of cash lying around like they once did.

  76. “Your granny on a council estate is experiencing fewer burglaries and car thefts”

    Well, yes. She couldn’t afford to buy another car after the chavs set the last one on fire.

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