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Should we replace the police

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Reply 20
Original post by AMac86
Murder already carries a mandatory life sentence, rape carries sentences ranging from long to life. Rehabilitation very much takes a back seat here to protection of the public.

What you're proposing above are lengthy sentences (on a par those for murder and rape) for a *much* wider range of offenses, by their nature less serious,where there is a much greater scope for rehabilitation - the sorts of offenses where sentences currently can range from 1-5 years for example.

Irrespective of your own personal views, the question is why do governments not adopt the kinds of policies your proposing. That's because they have to take (or at least aim to take...) a longer term strategic view. If only on a pragmatic basis, they *have* to care about rehabilitation because it's a key part of longer term crime reduction strategies. If you want to take rehabilitation out of the picture and place a much greater focus on the punishment itself, then you have to also be accepting of a higher rate of re-offending post release, and to spend more money on prisons to meet the expanded prison population, resources you can't spend on other areas which might drive more successful outcomes for society. Let's imagine you're the prisons minister putting these kinds of policies forward to the home secretary & the treasury for approval - here's your case:

In the plus column:
- Being tough on crime and prisoners is a popular electoral position;
- There are cases where sentencing is deficient;
- There can be a moral case for tougher sentencing (focusing on the individuals decision to commit crime);
- Short term protection of the public would likely improve;

In the negative column:
- Your department would need massively more funding to fund the rollout of more prisons - anywhere between £3-5 billion as a starting point - which other department will take the cuts for the money you need?
- There's little evidence that tough prison sentences reduce crime rates;
- There's lots of evidence that removing rehabilitation and increasing imprisonment, particularly in the sort of tough conditions you favour increases re-offending - which *increases* crime, so longer term protection of the public is likely to worsen.
- There can be a moral case for rehabilitation (focusing on the social factors influencing crime)

Decisions, decisions - No easy answers and I think the above illustrates why more, tougher, prisons is far from an obvious criminal justice policy.


In answer to your post:
The Criminal Justice Policy has long lost its way. It is another smoke and mirrors basket case having to avoid incarceration for those deserving cases because of a lack of secure accommodation in 'gated communities'. Short sentences may not rehabilitate a criminal but save the sanity of local communities. It takes a tremendous amount of offending to be sentenced to prison for 'trivial' low level offences.

Of course being tough on crime is an electoral winner because most ordinary people realise successive Governments of all parties across decades have let them down and not taken crime seriously. We have not taken enough tax payers money and used it wisely to fund the infrastructures, the IT, and the border controls it takes to contain criminals and crime. The police are now an overstretched sticking plaster.

Yes it does take tax payers money to fund policing and prisons. Most public infrastructure projects need huge amounts of investment capital (money) that we just son't have - Most public services have been underfunded for many decades and are now failing dramatically.

If prisoners genuinely want to change, they should have to actively work for it to prove they want to make that change. But that means more prison staff that we don't have. Criminals should be taught building skills and with nominal pay be used as manual labour to build prisons or secure drug rehab houses. If the Govt can erect the NHS Nightingale warehouse they can build a prison.

Honest people wish to live in a crime free, calm and orderly world. We need more police not less and not a disbandment of what we have. Lack of vetting and lowering of entry standards are partly to blame for unprofessional police standards but so is a lack of supervised operational discipline. .

So in answer to your carefully worded post - The reality is that crime is starting to become endemic and to accelerate out of control, despite the published crime stats which are carefully controlled. It seems so much easier just to throw time and resources to prosecute members of the public who intervene when a crime is committed than to prosecute a criminal.

Many of the baying mobs who want to dismantle the police are people who do not wish to be conform to UK laws and who want to carry on committing crime on their terms.

We still need the police service, and whilst it may not be perfect it is a far better option right now than not having it at all.
(edited 3 months ago)
Original post by AMac86
Murder already carries a mandatory life sentence, rape carries sentences ranging from long to life. Rehabilitation very much takes a back seat here to protection of the public.

What you're proposing above are lengthy sentences (on a par those for murder and rape) for a *much* wider range of offenses, by their nature less serious,where there is a much greater scope for rehabilitation - the sorts of offenses where sentences currently can range from 1-5 years for example.

Irrespective of your own personal views, the question is why do governments not adopt the kinds of policies your proposing. That's because they have to take (or at least aim to take...) a longer term strategic view. If only on a pragmatic basis, they *have* to care about rehabilitation because it's a key part of longer term crime reduction strategies. If you want to take rehabilitation out of the picture and place a much greater focus on the punishment itself, then you have to also be accepting of a higher rate of re-offending post release, and to spend more money on prisons to meet the expanded prison population, resources you can't spend on other areas which might drive more successful outcomes for society. Let's imagine you're the prisons minister putting these kinds of policies forward to the home secretary & the treasury for approval - here's your case:

In the plus column:
- Being tough on crime and prisoners is a popular electoral position;
- There are cases where sentencing is deficient;
- There can be a moral case for tougher sentencing (focusing on the individuals decision to commit crime);
- Short term protection of the public would likely improve;

In the negative column:
- Your department would need massively more funding to fund the rollout of more prisons - anywhere between £3-5 billion as a starting point - which other department will take the cuts for the money you need?
- There's little evidence that tough prison sentences reduce crime rates;
- There's lots of evidence that removing rehabilitation and increasing imprisonment, particularly in the sort of tough conditions you favour increases re-offending - which *increases* crime, so longer term protection of the public is likely to worsen.
- There can be a moral case for rehabilitation (focusing on the social factors influencing crime)

Decisions, decisions - No easy answers and I think the above illustrates why more, tougher, prisons is far from an obvious criminal justice policy.

Very good post. I feel like a lot of the demand for tougher sentencing comes from people who want retribution and revenge more than anything else, irrespective of whether it works and without care for what might be causing the crime to begin with.

Indeed, if the evidence is that tougher sentencing for low level crime makes reoffending worse then it is would be counter productive to introduce tougher sentences.
Reply 22
Original post by AMac86
Murder already carries a mandatory life sentence, rape carries sentences ranging from long to life. Rehabilitation very much takes a back seat here to protection of the public.

What you're proposing above are lengthy sentences (on a par those for murder and rape) for a *much* wider range of offenses, by their nature less serious,where there is a much greater scope for rehabilitation - the sorts of offenses where sentences currently can range from 1-5 years for example.

Irrespective of your own personal views, the question is why do governments not adopt the kinds of policies your proposing. That's because they have to take (or at least aim to take...) a longer term strategic view. If only on a pragmatic basis, they *have* to care about rehabilitation because it's a key part of longer term crime reduction strategies. If you want to take rehabilitation out of the picture and place a much greater focus on the punishment itself, then you have to also be accepting of a higher rate of re-offending post release, and to spend more money on prisons to meet the expanded prison population, resources you can't spend on other areas which might drive more successful outcomes for society. Let's imagine you're the prisons minister putting these kinds of policies forward to the home secretary & the treasury for approval - here's your case:

In the plus column:
- Being tough on crime and prisoners is a popular electoral position;
- There are cases where sentencing is deficient;
- There can be a moral case for tougher sentencing (focusing on the individuals decision to commit crime);
- Short term protection of the public would likely improve;

In the negative column:
- Your department would need massively more funding to fund the rollout of more prisons - anywhere between £3-5 billion as a starting point - which other department will take the cuts for the money you need?
- There's little evidence that tough prison sentences reduce crime rates;
- There's lots of evidence that removing rehabilitation and increasing imprisonment, particularly in the sort of tough conditions you favour increases re-offending - which *increases* crime, so longer term protection of the public is likely to worsen.
- There can be a moral case for rehabilitation (focusing on the social factors influencing crime)

Decisions, decisions - No easy answers and I think the above illustrates why more, tougher, prisons is far from an obvious criminal justice policy.


Excellent posts from someone who knows what they are talking about.
Original post by DSilva
Excellent posts from someone who knows what they are talking about.

But if I may, the flaw, not with the posters knowledge but with our criminal justice system is evidenced in the first sentence. Murder may carry a life sentence however most do not stay in prison for life.
Original post by TSR George
My local council has plans to replace some of the police force with enforcement agents. I not going to lie I don’t have a high opinion of the police. I get leaflets through the door saying we got the highest police force ever. I only ever see police drive past. We need a more visible police force. I think in the future there will be fewer officers and council will apply enforcement agents. I often see police drive past escooters and don’t do anything.


Corrupt and incompetent people should always be replaced, if that is the case. But that is the job of the monitoring system, The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in the uk. Also, the police cannot compensate for economic drivers of crime, that is the job of politicians. If these drivers always remain, they will feed new people into the prisons regardless of what the police do. That anger you must direct at the politicians who are not then doing their job.
(edited 2 months ago)

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