Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Knife crime and 'shock tactics'

Knife crime has become the latest 'bogeyman' issue to whip up the British masses. It certainly seems that the incidences of this type of criminality have increased of late, or perhaps it's just that the reporting of these incidents has become more extensive. I don't know. What is clear it that the two main political parties are falling over themselves to identify remedies for it. The latest big idea from Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to 'force' those caught carrying knives to visit A&E wards to see the victims of knife-crime. Oh, the good lady also wants to 'force' pubs and clubs associated with knife-crime to search customers on entry. Conservative ideas aren't much better - see the end of the same linked article. See also this Sunday Telegraph article discussing the soon-to-be-released (apparently) statistics that violent crime has gone down and whether they are believed by anyone who lives in the real world.

I have a few more radical ideas, naturally they are bonkers, but I suspect very strongly that my ideas would solve the problem within a week; they sound a little too much like former Prime Minister Tony Blair's somewhat messianic (aka 'bonkers') idea to try and check children before birth (watch the embedded video at top-left of this blog to see how the fool was led into making that mad statement, eyes 'glinting' with the true zeal of the possessed (of madness). So in this illustrious company, possibly being denounced as 'bonkers' has ceased to alarm me.

So, what are my 'radical' suggestions if we really want to tackle knife-crime:

- David Cameron wants to lock people up who are found to be carrying knives; as the Telegraph shows (see article linked above), however, there aren't the prison places to allow this. I suggest that we start shooting people found carrying knives - let me be clear, I am not suggesting trying them and convicting them, I am suggesting shoot on sight, summary justice;

- Jacqui Smith wants to force pubs 'associated with knife crime' to check customers under threat of removing their licences to trade. My solution is much simpler; simply remove the licences of any pub 'associated with knife crime' and for that matter where drugs are traded, the first time such things occur. No appeal;

- one of the audience members on Thursday evening's Question Time on BBC1 (the audience made up on this occasion exclusively of younger people) suggested metal-detectors for all schools. We do this already at airports and various other public venues. Implement this idea immediately. Any person attempting to enter a school with a 'blade' to be summarily shot; if the parents complain, shoot them too.

Do I really want to see all these things done? No, I don't. I don't want to see this country turned into a Judge Dredd style of police state; the police state we have aleady is quite enough. However, I think that about a week after we started doing these things the problems would melt away. And we wouldn't need to squander yet more resources building even more prisons.

I have become tired of reading about crime waves being treated by politicians as 'tabloid' policy issues - both main political parties coming up with more ideas which are not likely to solve whatever problems really exist, but are designed simply to try and show they are doing something, when it is quite obvious these are substitutes for simply wringing their hands in impotent frustration, without much likelihood of effectiveness.

Do I believe what I have just written? You decide.

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