Any Truth to this article?

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Trip_Wire, Jun 21, 2006.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Note: I do not condone, or accept this article as factual. I place it here as I'm interested in your thoughts on this matter as well as your opinions, of the author opinions and/or related facts.: TW

    This from the Wall Street Journal.


    June 17, 2006; Page A11

    With Great Britain now the world's most violent developed country,
    the British government has hit upon a way to reduce the number of
    cases before the courts: Police have been instructed to let off with
    a caution burglars and those who admit responsibility for some 60
    other crimes ranging from assault and arson to sex with an underage
    girl. That is, no jail time, no fine, no community service, no court
    appearance. It's cheap, quick, saves time and money, and best of all
    the offenders won't tax an already overcrowded jail system.

    Not everyone will be treated so leniently. A new surveillance system
    promises to hunt down anyone exceeding the speed limit. Using
    excessive force against a burglar or mugger will earn you a
    conviction for assault or, if you seriously harm him, a long
    sentence. Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer jailed for killing one
    burglar and wounding another during the seventh break-in at his
    rural home, was denied parole because he posed a threat to burglars.
    The career burglar whom Mr. Martin wounded got out early.

    Using a cap pistol, as an elderly woman did to scare off a gang of
    youths, will bring you to court for putting someone in fear.
    Recently, police tried to stop David Collinson from entering his
    burning home to rescue his asthmatic wife. He refused to obey and,
    brandishing a toy pistol, dashed into the blaze. Minutes later he
    returned with his wife and dog and apologized to the police. Not
    good enough. In April Mr. Collinson was sentenced to a year in
    prison for being aggressive towards the officers and brandishing the
    toy pistol. Still, at least he won't be sharing his cell with an
    arsonist or thief.

    How did things come to a pass where law-abiding citizens are treated
    as criminals and criminals as victims? A giant step was the 1953
    Prevention of Crime Act, making it illegal to carry any article for
    an offensive purpose; any item carried for self-defense was
    automatically an offensive weapon and the carrier is guilty until
    proven innocent. At the time a parliamentarian protested that "The
    object of a weapon was to assist weakness to cope with strength and
    it is this ability that the bill was framed to destroy." The
    government countered that the public should be discouraged "from
    going about with offensive weapons in their pockets; it is the duty
    of society to protect them."

    The trouble is that society cannot and does not protect them. Yet
    successive governments have insisted protection be left to the
    professionals, meanwhile banning all sorts of weapons, from firearms
    to chemical sprays. They hope to add toy or replica guns to the list
    along with kitchen knives with points. Other legislation has limited
    self-defense to what seems reasonable to a court much later.

    Although British governments insist upon sole responsibility for
    protecting individuals, for ideological and economic reasons they
    have adopted a lenient approach toward offenders. Because prisons
    are expensive and don't reform their residents, fewer offenders are
    incarcerated. Those who are get sharply reduced sentences, and serve
    just half of these. Still, with crime rates rising, prisons are
    overcrowded and additional jail space will not be available anytime
    soon. The public learned in April that among convicts released early
    to ease overcrowding were violent or sex offenders serving mandatory
    life sentences who were freed after as little as 15 months.

    The government's duty to protect the public has been compromised by
    other economies. Police forces are smaller than those of America and
    Europe and have been consolidated, leaving 70% of English villages
    without a police presence. Police are so hard-pressed that the
    Humberside force announced in March they no longer investigate less
    serious crimes unless they are racist or homophobic. Among crimes
    not being investigated: theft, criminal damage, common assault,
    harassment and non-domestic burglary.

    As for more serious crime, the unarmed police are wary of responding
    to an emergency where the offender is armed. The Thames Valley
    Police waited nearly seven hours to enter Julia Pemberton's home
    after she telephoned from the closet where she was hiding from her
    estranged and armed husband. They arrived once the danger to them
    had passed, but after those who had pleaded for their help were past
    all help.

    To be fair, under the Blair government a host of actions have been
    initiated to bring about more convictions. At the end of its 2003
    session Parliament repealed the 800-year-old guarantee against
    double jeopardy. Now anyone acquitted of a serious crime can be
    retried if "new and compelling evidence" is brought forward.
    Parliament tinkered with the definition of "new" to make that burden
    easier to meet. The test for "new" in these criminal cases, Lord
    Neill pointed out, will be lower than "is used habitually in civil
    cases. In a civil case, one would have to show that the new evidence
    was not reasonably available on the previous occasion. There is no
    such requirement here."

    Parliament was so excited by the benefits of chucking the ancient
    prohibition that it extended the repeal of double jeopardy from
    murder to cases of rape, manslaughter, kidnapping, drug-trafficking
    and some 20 other serious crimes. For good measure it made the new
    act retroactive. Henceforth, no one who has been, or will be, tried
    and acquitted of a serious crime can feel confident he will not be
    tried again, and again.

    To make the prosecutor's task still easier, he is now permitted to
    use hearsay evidence -- goodbye to confronting witnesses -- to
    introduce a defendant's prior record, and the number of jury trials
    is to be reduced. Still, the government has helped the homeowner by
    sponsoring a law "to prevent homeowners being sued by intruders who
    injure themselves while breaking in."

    It may be crass to point out that the British people, stripped of
    their ability to protect themselves and of other ancient rights and
    left to the mercy of criminals, have gotten the worst of both
    worlds. Still, as one citizen, referring to the new policy of
    letting criminals off with a caution, suggested: "Perhaps it would
    be easier and safer for the honest citizens of the U.K. to move into
    the prisons and the criminals to be let out."

    Ms. Malcolm is professor of history at Bentley College and author
    of, inter alia, "Guns and Violence: The English Experience" (Harvard
    University Press, 2002).
  2. I only read the first sentence, it's complete bo11ox, so I guess the rest of it will be too.

    Trust a septic to post utter sh'ite and if it's septic utter sh'ite, you just know there'll be a trip wire in there somewhere....
  3. I'd be interested to see the statistics that confirm that Britain is the world's most violent developed country. (It's a turn of phrase, I'd actually be bored $hitless). I can only presume that either a lot of nations have been relegated from the "developed" division or that Britain keeps more accurate records of violent crime.

    The rest of the article appears to stem from the headlines and leaders of the Sunday rags. It is a sad reflection on the Wall Street Journal that it allows the inclusion of articles by a reporter who evidently undertakes research only through the lowest quality media.

    Would the WSJ employ me as their chief UK reporter? I could paraphrase the Sunday Sport and condense the content to, what, three column inches. Oh, no. I forgot. Having seen this article, I'd have to insist on a full extra section being added so that I could waffle on about absolute drivel.

    Furthermore, the credibility of Bentley College is severely brought into doubt, if Ms Malcolm is an example of the calibre of their professors. (Wait a bit - a US degree = UK A level, so a professor must be equivalent to 21 year old who scraped a third in a very simple UK degree, hairdressing, flower arranging or similar).
  4. Having read the article in full now, it's bo11ox with no academic substance, no quoting imperical evidence, and by some bint at a by your own degree Spam college!

    Trust a septic to post utter sh'ite and if it's septic utter sh'ite, you just know there'll be a trip wire in there somewhere....
  5. Which bits of the article are wrong then Cheeky? I trust that after such a heartfelt denunciation you can back yourself up.
  6. Okay, sorry for the rather bizarre link I'm posting now:

    It contains some charts comparing crime in India with various other countries (though strangely enough not the UK), as such it's not an ideal link, but does give an impression of the situation around the world.

    I tried to access the Interpol site, but couldn't, as I'm not a copper :-(
  7. You're stalking me, aren't you, and we were doing so well on Shot at Dawn!

    Ok, I'll start with the first bit: With Great Britain now the world's most violent developed country

    The author makes no reference to the authority which establishes that this is factual, something any first year under grad would be expected to do. Further to this, as the author fails to supply a verifiable source I would suggest that both the USA and Russia supass the Great Britain in the most violent developed country stakes. I would further suggest that South Africa and Israel are developed countries and well, they have it pretty damn violent there too. But as the bint hasn't given us a source we can't check and in academic cirles, if you can't show the proof of something, it doesn't exist! Further, as an academic, one would have expected the author to use UK instead of GB unless it was her SPECIFIC intention to exclude NI from her study, which, as a 'serious' academic she SHOULD have stated on the first use of the term Great Britain.

    That do for you for now, old bean..... 8)
  8. Academic Review for this lady's book:

  9. Guess that makes me a fcuking genius for establishing the bint was full of sh'ite from just the first sentence of the crap old septic wire posted here (you know, I think he posted it to wind us up, he's that sort of person you know......)

    What do you say, Awol, old been?
  10. Guess that makes me a fcuking genius for establishing the bint was full of sh'ite from just the first sentence of the crap old septic wire posted here (you know, I think he posted it to wind us up, he's that sort of person you know......)

    What do you say, Awol, old been?
  11. Just had a look at other peer reviews on JSTOR. She seems to get panned for similar sloppy work and careful selectivity of evidence, not to mention the absence of any pretense of academic objectivity, in every one I've looked at so far.
  12. It just gets better ref this bint!

    Guess that makes me a fcuking genius for establishing the bint was full of sh'ite from just the first sentence of the crap old septic wire posted here (you know, I think he posted it to wind us up, he's that sort of person you know......)

    What do you say, Awol, old been?

    (I must stop doing this just to prove I was right to Awol, it makes me more of an Evil Clown than I am!)