Criminalising the Population

Increasingly these days government agencies are taking the most efficient approach to policing the population. It turns out that the most efficient approach is to assume that everyone is guilty, to treat everyone like a criminal.

Possibly one reason for this is that this is the most cost-efficient way of policing a population. For example; (and speed cameras provide a very good example of this kind of mass disciplinary system) consider two police forces. Police force A sets out to catch people who knowingly speed, who are a danger to others. These criminals are savvy about speed cameras. To catch them therefore takes an intensive operation involving multiple police cars. In one morning Police force A nets 10 of these criminals. Police force B on the other hand realises that it is a numbers game. They set up a single camera in a spot where it is easy to make a mistake (typically they find a stretch of road with a 30 mph limit but with no buildings – the sort of road where there may well be a good reason for the speed limit but where it is also possible to make a genuine mistake). Police force B captures 50 people in the morning for a fraction of the cost of the operation conducted by Police force A. In the New Years Honours lists it is the Chief Constable of Police force B who is honoured.

Examples abound. One of the most notorious examples of this kind of dragnet policing is the BBC’s campaign of sending intimidating

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer