Saturday, 17 February 2007

And forever your gonna regret that

You know something?

Having more armed police patrolling my city? Does not make me feel safer. Having any armed police officers routinely patrolling the streets does not make me feel safer.

It makes me feel anxious and uncomfortable and distinctly unsafe, in ways that are pretty much entirely unrelated to the incidents that the police are currently responding to(1).

More armed police on standby, yes. More police on foot patrol, yes. But more guns on the streets? Regardless of who's (however carefully selected, well trained) hands they're in? Not so much.

My gut reaction is more or less: 'Gun-totting cops in Stockwell? 'cos that's worked really well in the past …' and my more considered one is to ask 'but how, exactly, is that going to help?

I don't, to be honest, understand the idea that somehow guns on one side neutralise guns on the other – the police are carrying magic guns that shoot a protective force field? No, I didn't think so…

My heart goes out to the families and friends of these three boys. And those of the two? three? other boys who have been stabbed in the same area over the same period and who are equally dead, but rather less all over the papers.

I hope that these murders are solved, and no more are commited.

And I pray that those armed officers never have to fire a bullet at someone to do it.

(Mind you, Cameron's suggestion that somehow tax credits are the answer is just bizarre. "I think we should split up." "But honey – think of the tax breaks!" ??)

(1) partly that it triggers vivid memories of visiting East Berlin when the wall was still very much up.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember with great displeasure the icy feeling I got years ago, when I went to Heathrow and saw armed *soldiers* patrolling the place. Hideous.

It doesn't strike me as particularly likely that more armed police will help, unless they happen to be stationed outside the house of the *next* kid who becomes a target - and how likely is that? More probably, they'll just reinforce the message that Guns Make You Powerful, which is really going to help, isn't it. Hah.

Pen

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not putting forward the standard "Armed Police" comments that tend to crop up, alongside comments heavy with "Police State" in them.
I guess it's more a sign that things are unsafe rather than anything else.

What I'm curious about is how these units will keep down gun-crime, at most it'll mean that we have armed officers at the scene shortly after an incident has been reported - unless of course they're stationed outside everyone's door.

I have no problem with Armed Response Units, and armed police in areas of high-risk - ie Parliament etc. But just patrolling the streets? The money could be better used elsewhere.


Oi Tony, what about cracking down on the causes of crime eh?

BenB

Miss Alice said...

they'll just reinforce the message that Guns Make You Powerful, which is really going to help, isn't it.

Thank you, Pen - that very neatly puts the finger on it.

Somone used the phrase 'arms race' elsewhere, and that resonates too.

Miss Alice said...

I guess it's more a sign that things are unsafe rather than anything else.

Personally I think it's escalating an already dodgy situation.