The failing state (continued): Policing in Conservative Britain

The World Economic Forum has issued a rather informative video on violent crime in Scotland – and in particular Glasgow – showing how improvement happened by treating the problem as one of poverty and ill-health.

The government of the remainder of the UK remains in blissful ignorance and in England & Wales violent crime is rising, according to police figures which show a 22% increase in knife crime and 11% rise in gun crime. There was also a 15% increase in homicides, a  9%rise in burglary and a 17% rise in car crime.

Of course, Police Officer numbers have fallen by almost 20,000 since 2010 whilst the England & Wales population has been increasing by more than 0.5% every year during the same period.

As Police numbers have declined so reduced public spending has substantially increased their workload – and increased deaths in custody is one result.

And then, to add to the difficulties, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has warned that Brexit could lead to “a significant loss of operational capacity” because a No Deal Brexit would prevent access to EU criminal databases requiring “extra time and money on “suboptimal” techniques to fight home-grown and foreign criminals unless a Brexit deal is struck.”

Then of course, fearful of social disorder, Dexeu looks likely to ask Police to cancel leave for two months in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

Of course the previous Conservative response to public disorder in 2011 was basically to let riots burn themselves out – literally.

With about 20,000 less Police that could be the only option in 2019, but if food is short we must imagine that the burn out could be more lengthy than even the curent Consevatives would consider ideal.

The so-called ‘party of responsible government’ can no longer claim to be anything of the sort.


**15 Aug 18 following comments (below) have established from a Guardian article  that the VRU (violence reduction unit) is originated and run by the Police in Scotland with support from the Scottish government.




  1. Neil -

    Threats of stockpiling food, bringing in the army and cancelling police leave. They still plan to go ahead regardless so there must be something *really* good and totally worth all the disruption that’s going to come of this after the dust has settled. I haven’t heard anyone say what this might be, though.

  2. Peter May -

    Apart from making Mogg and Johnson swell with pride nor, I regret, have I!

  3. bjsalba -

    And just where does SNP come into all of this???


    1. Gordon McAdam -

      Not sure what your intention is but might I suggest that it is the SNP which has overseen the successful story being referenced in the article.

  4. Peter May -

    Afraid I don’t think they do.

  5. Peter May -

    If it is the SNP that has organised the improvements in Scotland then I think it is great stuff and in such stark contrast to England and Wales. But I confess I had thought it was more to do with a Police initiative. But, frankly, if its successful – who cares? It’s simply the way to do it.

  6. Graham -

    “if its successful – who cares?” Well, if the Scottish Government was instrumental in effecting change, and from what I read it was a combination of different groups including the SG, then it points to a very different attitude between the Scottish Government and the “English” one, where Tories still think, like Michael Howard, “that prison works”.

  7. Peter May -

    Agreed entirely. I was trying not to be drawn into a ScotNat argument but just indicate that England and Wales are not pursuing what has been demonstrated to work in our society.
    There is a vestige of hope in Rory Stewart, who, in spite of being an old Etonian, seems to think that prison doesn’t work (perhaps he didn’t enjoy Eton?) – as it obviously doesn’t

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