Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies,
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks!
Arrests have fallen in the UK by nearly a half. The police, unsurprisingly, blame this on reduced "resources" but it is worth noting that there are not 50% fewer coppers - not even the more deranged parts of the Labour Party are making that claim - so you can't lay fewer arrests at the door of so-called "austerity".
I guess this is a better reason:
“Officers are also encouraged to deal with offending behaviour proportionately and effectively, maximising public involvement, keeping people out of the criminal justice system and supporting reduced re-offending behaviour through positive intervention.”It is now policy not to arrest people and for the police to behave a bit like a cross between a social worker and Judge Dredd - dealing with "offending behaviour" rather than catching criminals as used to be the case. This might be seen as a welcome return to the old-fashioned "clip round the ear" approach to policing where the coppers visited low level summary justice on badly behaved youth rather than arresting them. I've a fear, however, that the process of arrest, charge and the criminal justice process is such a nightmare of paperwork and mind-numbing bureaucracy that not arresting bad 'uns just makes the coppers' lives easier. What I do know is that, for all the "gee, Officer Krupke" banter, there's precious little evidence of this sort of policing "reducing reoffending behaviour".
I've always taken a care to listen to the explanations I get from the police and I also appreciate that the burglars aren't things of their creation but this mealy-mouthed, bureaucrat speak about how the police work seems to cover up an almost abject failure to do what the public wants - robust, hard, policing that targets the vicious, greedy young men who commit the crimes and upset the lives of decent, law-abiding people. It certainly doesn't appear to the majority of folk that the police are either present in their community or responsive to the needs of that place. Today's police seem to be stuck in cars, draped with ever more bits of kit and, when you get to speak with them, talking in an almost impenetrable language quite unlike how regular folk speak about criminals and crime.
The police have the time and resource to get filmed dancing at pride marches but not to respond promptly to a burglary at a frightened elderly couple's house, put more publicity behind getting people to report bad language on social media, and police "senior leaders" hide behind bureaucracy to excuse their failures. Blaming a 50% drop in arrests on resourcing is, quite simply, a lie but nobody is looking chief constables and crime commissioners in the eye and saying "pull the other one, mate". Yes more money for policing might be a good idea but only if that money gets spent on actual policing not a bureaucratic, politically correct pastiche of policing.