We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The Olympic Games and London crime – I propose a deal

What she said.

What she (the Telegraph‘s Janet Daley) started by saying was what they did in New York to bash the crime numbers down to a state bordering on civilisation from a state not bordering on barbarism. And then she turns her attention to the very contrasting state of affairs that still pertains in London, as we here hardly need reminding.

You will have noticed that this is precisely the opposite of what is happening here. Try ringing the police to tell them about an act of vandalism that is going on before your eyes and you will be treated with scarcely concealed ridicule: we’ve got more important things to worry about than some kids smashing up a building site. Never mind that the kids who have got away with that are likely to conclude that they can get away with pretty much anything.

Now New Yorkers have their city back and we are losing ours. …

I have a suggestion.

The politicos are cranking up this London Olympic bid. Well, all those of us who care more about people getting murdered than we do about people running marathons should offer the Olympiacs a deal. You can have your damned games if, by the time they come here, you have got on top of London’s crime numbers. If, on the other hand, you obsess about the Olympics and regard harping on about murder as a mere distraction, then we should all flood the internet with “London: World Capital of Crime – Olympians Do Not Come Here – You Will All Be Murdered” propaganda. “London Welcomes The Olympians” – “Now Hand Over Your Wallet Or Die”, etc.

Could some computer graphics genius perhaps do something with those Olympic ring things to turn them into a piece of anti-crime anti-the-political-causes-of-crime propaganda? Slosh some blood on them, perhaps, or make a couple of the rings into the front end of a double-barrelled shotgun.

The good thing about this arrangement is that I believe that it would work spontaneously. No one would have to be in charge of anything. But, if any of the people who do think that they are in charge of the Olympic bid tell us that we are being unpatriotic if we go on about crime in London instead of ignoring it and suffering in silence, they will be spontaneously attacked, and in a way that will really hurt them, with globally circulated (especially in Paris of course) bad news about what an appallingly unsuitable city London would be to hold these stupid games. Shut up, they will say. And the reply will be: no. Either you help us, or we screw you. That will be our message to them. And I think, after they have had a taste of it, that it might prove rather persuasive.

Which means that it is possible is that the Olympiacs might actually be recruited as allies in the campaign sketched out so vigorously by Janet Daley. Which means that something along the lines she says might – quite soon actually – start being done.

If London did do a New York with its criminal arrangements, as a result of the Olympics coming here, I for one could easily put up with a few weeks of Olympiac madness.

29 comments to The Olympic Games and London crime – I propose a deal

  • Jake

    Two thoughts:

    The police in my city have a slogan on their cars that says “Protect and Serve”. And they live up to that slogan.

    Sounds like “Protect and Serve” is a foreign concept to the London police.

    The mayors of New York City, Richmond, Virginia and Albuquerque, NM all proved that you can substantially decrease crime by just enforcing the laws that are already on the books.

    All it takes is a political will to do so. Maybe the Olympics will give the politicians the needed will power.

  • Having lived in New York City all my life, I can tell you that Jake is correct. If you have the politicla will to enforce your existing laws you can bring crime down to a level were you might almost expect to live to see the end of the week.

  • This is the sort of subtle approach of which I heartily approve – aiming the first kick directly at the testicles. Your suggestion is also a win win situation. Either we get crime down or we don’t get the Olympics. Fellow traveller at Crimedown.org http://crimedown.blog-city.com/

  • I’m not so sure. Is it really a good idea to encourage Blunkett to employ yet more useless plods!

    Although more plods might have some effect on the figures, surely there are much better and more libertarian solutions to street crime than more Government spending?

  • Pete_London

    Julius

    Once the will is finally found by someone, anyone, to bring down crime it will also be seen that more plods and more tax are not actually required. We already have more Police Officers than ever before. The cliche about them not being visible because they’re sitting in cars/behind desks/at the latest diversity awareness course happens to reflect reality.

  • Robert

    I have discovered the best way to clean up London, and the solution is not in fact more police or “law enforcement,” but rather the answer is…MCRORIE!

    http://www.mcrorie.ca/

    Fear!

  • Verity

    The suggestion is outrageous. The Home Secretary, when he is not otherwise engaged in his private life, has an absolute duty to maintain law and public order. To start making deals – as though you or any other British citizen had the power in the first place – promising they can have their Olympics if they cut down on crime is crazy. Even if you had the power, the notion that you would have to bribe the government to execute its primary duty is mind-boggling and is indicative of how this government has managed to break the spirit of the British in seven short years. Why not get down on your knees when you’re presenting the petition?

    If they win the bid, they’ll have their Olympics whether the citizenry wants it or not. Surely you have noticed that this government has nurtured a lawless Britain? It didn’t happen by accident, and so quickly, without vast enablement.

  • Isn’t it funny that the socialist “communitarian” societies are those where the average teenage boy feels no connection with a common morality or community and thus feels free to ravish, rob and pillage? Anti-”broken window” policing works because it is seen by the yobs as an expression of society’s determination to enforce civility and decency, concepts derided by the entire pop culture.

  • Xavier

    “Could some computer graphics genius perhaps do something with those Olympic ring things to turn them into a piece of anti-crime anti-the-political-causes-of-crime propaganda? Slosh some blood on them, perhaps, or make a couple of the rings into the front end of a double-barrelled shotgun.”

    I would advise against this. The Olympic Committee is very litigious and protective of its trademarks.

  • Adhib

    Ech – anyone else getting the creeps, here? Janet says of New York, I *think* in praise, that the appearance of an unsavoury individual reassuringly results in the sudden materialisation of half a dozen secret policemen. Folks, that’s going to be Blunkett’s sturmabteilung, not Dixon of Dock Green. It’s not a vision of utopia I’d get excited about introducing here, whatever the upsides in repressing my neighbourhood vermin. This is/was a libertarian site, yes?

  • If individuals had the lawful right to defend themselves and bear arms in Lindon, the predators would flee.

    It really is that simple. If you criminalize self-defence, then your only other option is to turn your city into a locked down maximum security prison.

  • If individuals had the lawful right to defend themselves and bear arms in London, the predators would flee.

    It really is that simple. If you criminalize self-defence, then your only other option is to turn your city into a locked down maximum security prison.

  • Johnathan

    Verity, keep your cool. Brian’s suggestion is based on a rather realistic appraisal of what makes this govt. think, not some sort of perfect state of affairs.

    If the Olympic bid failed because those in judgement deemed Britain too violent, the publicity would be very damaging, and rightly so. In fact, the Tories should make this point relentlessly.

  • Jake:

    The police in my city have a slogan on their cars that says “Protect and Serve”.

    Lucky you. Where I live, the slogan is “Reinforcing the quality of life in Fife” – a slogan designed by a committee if ever there was one. Click here(Link), for proof.

    I’ve no idea what the slogan means, but they can’t even keep burglars out of nuclear bunkers(Link) round here.

  • Verity

    Jonathan, Oh, OK. You have a point.

    Andy Wood – that is hysterical!

  • Pete_London

    Maybe the hing to do is follow the example of Prisoner JW7874 who witheld part of his Council Tax on the grounds that they weren’t doing their job. Give yourself half an hour and read back through the archives.

  • Verity

    Pete – Dream on. The British wouldn’t cooperate. Americans get together and do things like that – maybe because they have a long tradition of community cooperation, maybe because everyone who packed up (if they had anything to pack) and sailed for the New World had a strong sense of liberty that they passed on for generations.

    In a town of, say, 30,000, I cannot imagine your getting more than 40 or 50 people, if that many, who would agree to withhold any part of their council taxes. And this is a ploy that would need almost 100% cooperation. I hate to say it, being British myself, but the average British person today is quite cowardly. Or cowed.

  • Pete_London

    Verity

    Agreed. But its a bloody good blog all the same. Does anyone know who (I mean individual/committee/whatever) actually decides on the form of protection that senior politicians receive? The copper outside Number 10 is a familiar sight. Of course with him there and the gates at the end of the street Blair won’t be confronted by anyone in the dead of night wielding a knife. On the basis that the rest of us can only dream of such protection I’m going to tell my MP on Saturday that I want him to propose in the Commons that politicians receive the same protection as everyone. If they want a copper at the end of the street we should all be provided with one. I’m serious about this. If anyone has a better instruction I can give to him I’d be glad to hear it.

  • Verity

    Pete – Yes!

    Only thing is, they will say that because Blair & Co are high profile (like Blair ever attempted to be low profile, they are naturally more targetted and therefore should have extra protection.

  • Of course, if London loses the bid for the Olympics, which I think will happen, guess who they will blame for the loss?

    Yeah, you guessed it, the Tories!

  • Have any of the people making unfavourable comparisons between London and New York actually spent time in both cities?

    I have (NY post-Guiliani, that is). And the one where I saw someone getting shot wasn’t London.

  • Daveon

    Comparisons. Good idea.

    I’m using as sources the Met’s published Crime stats on their website for 2003, and the total stats on Area Connect which has been recently referenced elsewhere here to prove how safe a US town is.

    Headlines:
    Murders per 100,000
    NYC – 7.26 London – 3.2
    Total Crime(*) – NYC – 3100 London 1628

    (*) – this is probably a wobbly figure as it is unclear if we are entirely comparing like with like. Although the Met data looks pretty complete.

    Now, it is possible that there are lots more unreported crimes, but that also goes for NYC. However, on murder that’s a 2.3 times difference and twice the total crime rate.

    Crime is increasing in London and I understand that it has been decreasing in NYC but NYC still has the crime edge by a significant margin.

  • John Ellis

    Crime is increasing in London and I understand that it has been decreasing in NYC but NYC still has the crime edge by a significant margin.

    All those guns, you see…;-)

    London is getting armed quickly though, both polis and crims, which is why we will soon be a libertarian paradise.

    OK, blatant troll, but at least on-topic…

  • John Ellis

    Crime is increasing in London and I understand that it has been decreasing in NYC but NYC still has the crime edge by a significant margin.

    All those guns, you see…;-)

    London is getting armed quickly though, both polis and crims, which is why we will soon be a libertarian paradise.

    OK, blatant troll, but at least on-topic…

  • John Ellis

    Oh God, sorry. Now I’m double-posting too….Grovel…

  • curious american

    Just wondering, but wouldn’t the people who want to bring the Olympics to london have a personal incentive to bring down crime regardless, or do they live in isolated communities where the police guard like hawks (apparently in contrast to the rest of the city)?

  • Gary Gunnels

    Isn’t Paris the frontrunner?

    The aggressive “broken windows” policy did come with some costs to individual liberty (and some rather nasty incidents where clearly innocent people were killed by police officers); I wouldn’t suggest that you adopt all of its prescriptions (indeed, NYC has backed away from at least some of them due to their unpopularity). Furthermore, it may only work in certain types of social or cultural or geographic settings, since it has been tried in L.A. and (to my knowledge) has not been all that successful there.

    Probably the best and most immediately effective thing the U.K. could do is to repeal a large swath of your “gun control” laws.