Friday, January 08, 2010

Police concerns over private security patrols.

Apparently the socialist police are afraid of competition:

Note the stupid desperation of the objections:

1: At 2:13 Simon Reed, Vice Chairman of the Police Federation, asks "who are they accountable to?"

Answer: How do you mean? As a business, they are accountable to their customers. If customers are not happy with the quality of service they are getting for the price being charged, then they can stop paying and either go to a competitor or go without.

Or do you mean "accountable" in terms of "who are they accountable to if they commit crimes?" In which case the answer is, "you, you idiot!" If private security personel do illegal things, the police can investigate, and prosecute. The public police have not been abolished, you know!

In the mean time, to whom are you accountable, MR. Simon Reed? If the people who are forced to pay you are not happy with their service, they can't stop paying and go to a competitor, because then they will be arrested for non-payment of taxes. So what incentive do you have to do what those you claim to protect want? And how much more is that incentive than your incentive to do what the politicians and bureacrats that decide police budgets?

To whom are you accountable should you commit a crime, Mr. Simon Reed? When we get arrangements such as "sovereign immunity," and when royal honours are given to police that oversee operations that lead to innocent Brazilians getting shot 16 times in the head because they ran to catch a train, I suspect that the answer is "No-one."

2: At 2:49 Sir Ian Blair, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, declares that he doesn't see community safety as a commodity to be bought and sold. Well, people are buying it and others are selling it, so it plainly is, Sir Ian. Either you have blinkers on, or you really mean you don't think it ought to be a commodity to be bought and sold. Well, in that case, Sir Ian, don't buy or sell it. If you think it should be free to those who need it, give it away for free. Ah, wait, I see... what you really mean is that you don't think that those willing to use their property to buy it from those people willing to use their property to sell it, should be allowed to. Well, in that case, mind your own business: What people do with their person and property should be up to them, not up to you. Your job is to keep that person and property safe, not to force people to do with it what you want.

And that is the crux of the issue: In the end, you don't think community safety should be a commodity to be bought and sold... you think it should be something that people should be made to pay for, whether they want to pay or not, whether they think that what they are paying for is worth it or not, or else get thrown in prison. "Buy our protection, and nobody else's, or we are gonna come and get ya, and you won't like it" is what you really support, Sir Ian. They make films about that: Gangster flicks, about protection racketeering!

At 3:03 Sir Ian Blair worries that "this will end up" with policing going to the rich, and the poor going without... this is in a clip plainly filmed on what looks to be a fairly poor estate in Dalington, Durham, where private security is being supplied for £3.50 a week, less than a packet of fags (and most smokers don't buy just one pack a week)! Moreover, Sir Ian, like Simon Reed above, seems to think that if people are paying for the police protection they want from the supplier they want, then this means that the state police have ceased to exist, rather than merely having been supplemented. They haven't been. So if people cannot afford to pay £3-4 a week, they can simply call people like you, Sir Ian, and get policing! What the hell are you worried about!

In the mean time, of course, is the quality of protection that people in, say, South London estates recieve from the public police as good as that supplied to people who live, well, in places such as where Sir Ian lives? I seriously doubt it. I strongly suspect that the state supplies better policing to the non-poor than it does to the poor, just as it supplies the non-poor with better schools and healthcare.

Frankly, increased use of private security is a great thing, a move towards voluntary, peaceful provision of essential services, rather than the coercive compulsion of statism. Three cheers for it.


Blogger sconzey said...

Love the subtle juxtaposition of Ian Blair: "They'll only work for the rich!" with private security guards chatting amicably to chav moms in a council estate. Suprisingly subversive for the beeb.

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