By Richard Shrubb
Losing the streets? Why flush the sewers?
Earlier this week a senior policeman told a national newspaper that the police are very close to ‘losing the streets’ due to national funding cuts.
At the first annual NORML UK conference in 2013 a recently retired Chief Constable referred to drugs raids as ‘flushing the sewers’ – as soon as they had cleared the muck, more would come down into the sewer.
Why then, if police are so desperate just to maintain law and order do they continue to flush the sewers?
The public are in trouble …
Sergeant Simon Kempton, operation policing lead for the Police Federation told the Metro free sheet national newspaper, “we are ‘very close to losing the streets’ as government funding cuts continue to bite.
Kempton continued, ‘I think the first and the last duty of any government is to protect its citizens, and if the budgets across government have to be constrained difficult decisions need to be made. ‘But keeping people safe, alive and getting on top of criminality should absolutely be the top priority of this and any other government. ‘The reason we pay taxes for a police service is so we feel safe in our homes, these are fundamental things we must meet as a society.’
Keeping it pretty through low hanging fruit
Even so, it seems that the police still making ridiculously small drug busts. We have covered a few of them here that Feed the Birds. What about this one from late in 2017? Posting the picture of half a joint’s worth of weed (perhaps from the bottom of someone’s pocket), the Gloucester Live newspaper reported, “It’s not the biggest drugs haul ever found in Gloucestershire, by some margin. But this tiny amount of suspected cannabis sends a very big message. Because Tewkesbury police have used the seizure of the cannabis to highlight their zero tolerance towards drugs. Proudly posting an image of the seized drugs, they said: “Even the smallest amount of cannabis doesn’t go unnoticed by Tewkesbury police.”
You’d have to have a good feel about to find such a small quantity of weed. Did the police officer enjoy the feeling of fiddling about in someone’s pocket? I know the Tewkesbury Police main businesses is largely about stopping locals raping sheep and keeping Hunt Sabs from bothering illegal fox hunts, but having the gall to announce that you have busted less weed that would get a Chihuahua stoned is not very good PR considering you are desperate for resources.
While the other suppositions above are in jest, the real reason for it is probably to up their statistics and make it look to the public as if they are actually doing something worthwhile. This is a hallmark of incompetent public services, and is known as ‘picking low hanging fruit’. (Now if the police officer was enjoy fiddling about in the weed user’s pocket, that really would be picking low hanging fruit!!!)
Let’s fight the real criminals
Decriminalising or turning a blind eye to the cannabis market would allow police forces to focus on the real problems in society. Legalising and controlling all drugs would eradicate most of the problems that we find in society today. Prescribe heroin! Allow a variety of mindbending safe legal highs! Free the weed! In doing so you take away the market that the violent criminals make their money from, and in allowing almost any drug in some form, so there would be no acquisitive crime from people needing £100 a day to stick something in their arms or up their noses.
This will never happen. Why? Our government relies on violent oppression as opposed to looking after its citizens. This is why it seems it actively promotes despot nations such as Israel murdering Palestinians and other peoples, while cutting back on welfare and the NHS. In October 2016 I saw this in clear daylight when a failing mental health trust allowed the suicide of my brother-in-law and rather than send the duty psychiatrist to Section him they sent a bunch of uniformed police thugs to taser the last drop of blood out of his body.
Here it seems that the repression through violence is coming from a lack of police resources to protect us and the misuse of those resources to bust otherwise non-criminal people for small quantities of cannabis.
Richard is a marijuana, water sports and electric vehicles writer based in Dorchester, Dorset. Living in Prince Charles model housing estate, Poundbury, he is an avowed republican, community and Labour Party activist. Visit his website at www.richardshrubb.com for more about what he does.
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