My last post was partly about disconnection and I just found a terrific riff on the same theme. Nick Cohen writes about a truly criminal approach to policing. It’s a good counterblast to managerialism and captures a lot of the frustration I feel at how our government fails us. Dave Snowden (hat tip) picked out this quote as his highlight.
The first perverse consequence was that although the public expected the police to keep the peace, an officer who successfully stopped trouble was not rewarded because no trouble meant no arrests. More seriously, the police played the Home Office game by going for trivial offenders rather than serious criminals. Solving the case of a child who steals a Mars bar earned as many points as solving a murder. It made more sense to arrest rowdy children for ‘harassing a tree’ than to begin the hard work of tackling a potentially homicidal teenage gang.