A Cycling & bikes forum. CycleBanter.com

Go Back   Home » CycleBanter.com forum » Regional Cycling » UK
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Torygraph argues that driving crime is not real crime...



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old August 22nd 04, 10:53 AM
Howard
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Torygraph argues that driving crime is not real crime...

Hi folks,

Interesting leader in today's Torygraph. We keep on hearing how
'speeding is not a crime' and that the police should focus on
dangerous and inconsiderate drivers, the uninsured and other 'real'
motoring criminals instead. Of course, this is usually just another
deceit as whatever driving crime the police do pursue (which currently
is very little) the protest goes up that that is not ‘real' driving
crime either. In fact it often seems that the motor lobby and the
hierarchical/ authoritarian right deep down want to pretend that no
crime committed by a driver is 'real' crime. (Unless committed by a
driver who stole the car first of course...).

Of course, in reality all driving crime is ‘real' crime and claims
many very real victims. In fact driving crime is certainly the most
widespread form of crime in the UK today and blights the lives of more
people than any other form of crime. Speeding alone, one of the most
common driving crimes, claiming about 1200 lives a year and being
implicated in many more deaths and injuries.

True to form The Torygraph are today arguing that responsibility for
ALL driving crime be taken away from the police who would then be free
to concentrate on 'real' crime. (Which I have no doubt would include
'clampdowns' on pavement cyclists and arresting beggars and down and
outs). They argue that driving crime should be farmed out to a new
agency, doubtless in anticipation that this could be attacked for
being 'over zealous' with much more freedom then the Torygraph and the
right wing press would feel when attacking the police, who after all
form a central part of the system they wish to maintain.

However much they try to pretend otherwise this story is yet another
attempt to promote the old lie that driving crime is not real crime.
They should try telling that to the victims, ironically the people
that the right wing press frequently argues the law should put first.

Sunday Telegraph
22/08/04
Get the police off the road

At a time when violent crime is rising, and there is an increasing
reluctance on the part of the public to provide the witness statements
which are so crucial to successful criminal investigations, the police
need all the support they can get. Unfortunately, many forces appear
to be alienating large swathes of the public. The cause is their crass
and often stupid behaviour when enforcing road regulations.

Almost every driver has encountered heavy-handed, or even
straightforwardly incompetent, actions by police officers on the
roads. Some particularly egregious examples have been reported in the
past few days: seven policemen - each with body armour - were deployed
in London to hide behind a hedge in order to catch motorists on a
quiet, residential road who were turning right in defiance of a "no
right turn" sign; a policeman who was accidentally splashed when a
motorist changed lanes on a rain-soaked street in Blackburn ensured
that the offending driver was prosecuted for "driving without due care
and attention"; and it took 30 uniformed officers, with 15 police
cars, to issue a £30 spot-fine to a grandmother who was judged to have
been driving a car with the wrong coloured screw in its back
number-plate.

When the police treat people who commit minor road offences as if they
were armed robbers, the natural reaction is one of anger and
frustration, not merely at the rudeness and inconvenience, but also at
the waste of police time and effort. It diminishes the police in the
eyes of the public.

The familiar question posed by every driver stopped by the police for
a traffic offence - "Why aren't you doing something to catch real
criminals?" - is not merely understandable: it is perfectly
reasonable. The amount of police effort and resources devoted to
enforcing road regulations undoubtedly takes officers away from their
real responsibilities: policing the streets, and investigating crimes
which actually threaten liberty and property.

As we report today, the RAC is now urging the police to take a more
aggressive stance in prosecuting motorists who are thought to be
staying in one lane of a motorway for too long. It is not difficult to
imagine the scenes that would follow if they actually started to do so
- and the consequent waste of additional police hours.

Cars are dangerous, and incidents on the roads kill and injure more
people than any other kind of accident. There should not and must not
be anarchy on the roads: the law of the land should be upheld there as
much as it is anywhere else. But police forces are not the most
appropriate organisations for ensuring that motorists obey traffic
regulations.

Policemen are schooled to confront and deal with violent criminals.
The dangers which they are trained to meet, and to which they are
often exposed, have ensured that they are among the best paid and most
generously pensioned public servants in Britain. It is a waste of
their training, of their skills, and of the remuneration which they
receive, to use them to monitor traffic.

Instead, the Government should create a specialist agency dedicated
exclusively to the enforcement of traffic regulations. Many other
countries make a clear division between the police and the "highway
patrol". Britain should follow their example.

The new agency could be largely self-financing: the fines it would
collect for speeding and other infractions of the rules of the road
ought to make that straightforward, with appropriate co-operation from
the Treasury. Officers in the highway patrol would not be paid the
same rate as police officers, or given the same quota of sick-days, or
the same generous pension rights, for the simple reason that they
would not face the same dangers as do officers in the regular police
force.

Their training would prepare them for dealing with ordinary members of
the public, not for confronting dangerous criminals - something which
would, it is to be hoped, be reflected in the way they treated drivers
whom they caught infringing the rules of road.

Hiving off the enforcement of the traffic laws to an agency quite
distinct - both culturally and administratively - from the police
would be an enormous benefit. It would end, at a stroke, the most
prolific cause of the public's increasing resentment and distrust of
its officers.

It would also bring an end to the distortion of police priorities
which has been the result of the imposition of rigid "performance
targets". When the police are required to "clear up" a certain number
of offences every year, they naturally opt for the softest targets:
motorists breaking the traffic code.

Targeting motorists inevitably brings up their quota of "persons
caught committing offences". But it also means that squads of officers
end up wasting their time hiding in bushes to catch drivers who turn
right illegally, or lining up to take finger-prints from a grandmother
with a dodgy number-plate. This is one occasion where a division of
labour is called for.
Ads
  #2  
Old August 22nd 04, 11:11 AM
Robert Bruce
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

mae wedi ysgrifennu:
Hi folks,

Interesting leader in today's Torygraph.


long post snipped

The right have a big problem at the moment. They want to push a 'zero
tolerance of crime' agenda because they think this will go down well with
Middle England. Michael Howard has already made reference to this in the
last couple of weeks. The only problem is that zero tolerance ain't zero
tolerance if middle class crimes such as motoring offences are ignored. The
Torygraph is probably trying to square this circle by finding a way of
taking the kind of crimes that 'nice people like us' commit out of the
equation.

--
Rob

Please keep conversations in the newsgroup so that all may contribute
and benefit.


  #3  
Old August 22nd 04, 11:42 AM
David Hansen
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 22 Aug 2004 02:53:52 -0700 someone who may be
(Howard) quoted this:-

Sunday Telegraph 22/08/04


At a time when violent crime is rising,


Being hit by a motor vehicle travelling at any speed is always
violent. It is not always a crime, but it often is. Therefore if the
Torygraph is really arguing that the police should deal with violent
crime then the roads are one place where they will find it.

The familiar question posed by every driver stopped by the police for
a traffic offence - "Why aren't you doing something to catch real
criminals?" - is not merely understandable: it is perfectly
reasonable.


It is perhaps perfectly reasonable, if one ignores the 3500 odd
people who are killed violently on the roads. However, outside the
ivory towers of the Torygraph these "people who commit minor road
offences" are real criminals causing real pain and anguish to their
victims. These criminals are an excellent target for the police.

Policemen are schooled to confront and deal with violent criminals.


That is part of their training. However it is a long way from being
all their training.

Officers in the highway patrol would not be paid the
same rate as police officers, or given the same quota of sick-days, or
the same generous pension rights, for the simple reason that they
would not face the same dangers as do officers in the regular police
force.


Interesting claim. However, several police officers have been killed
in recent years while dealing with "people who commit minor road
offences". "Real criminals" drive cars and often drive them with the
same disregard for motoring laws as they have for other laws.

Targeting motorists inevitably brings up their quota of "persons
caught committing offences". But it also means that squads of officers
end up wasting their time hiding in bushes to catch drivers who turn
right illegally,


The sort of mild mannered person who would not attack the police is
not likely to undertake an illegal manoeuvre of that sort. The sort
of person who disregards the law in this way is also the sort of
person likely to try and run over Dixon of Dock Green if he were to
try and stop them to have a quiet word.

or lining up to take finger-prints from a grandmother
with a dodgy number-plate.


From what I have heard this was an example of the stupidity which
the police are sometimes prone to.


--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
  #4  
Old August 22nd 04, 02:15 PM
Zog The Undeniable
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

David Hansen wrote:

It is perhaps perfectly reasonable, if one ignores the 3500 odd
people who are killed violently on the roads.


IIRC motor vehicles have killed more people in the time since their
invention than all wars.
  #5  
Old August 22nd 04, 02:19 PM
Nick Kew
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
(Howard) writes:

Hi folks,


Ho!

Speeding motorists kill more people in the UK than all other
criminals combined. Case closed?

--
Nick Kew
  #6  
Old August 22nd 04, 02:22 PM
dwb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Howard wrote:
Speeding alone, one of the most
common driving crimes, claiming about 1200 lives a year and being
implicated in many more deaths and injuries.


Got a source for that statistic? Speed specifically causing 1200 deaths per
year?



  #8  
Old August 22nd 04, 03:03 PM
Eiron
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Howard wrote:


Of course, in reality all driving crime is ‘real' crime....


True to form The Torygraph are today arguing that responsibility for
ALL driving crime be taken away from the police who would then be free
to concentrate on 'real' crime. (Which I have no doubt would include
'clampdowns' on pavement cyclists....


You seem to be suggesting that bicycle crime is not 'real' crime.
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fame at last! [warning: contains 5m*th] Just zis Guy, you know? UK 308 March 29th 04 12:00 AM
Vimw unilaur Unicycling 1 August 16th 03 12:07 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004-2019 CycleBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.