Friday, 2 January 2009

Christmas Crackdown Nonsense

Superintendent Mark Purdon, Northern Ireland Police, claims that 54 people have been arrested in central Belfast for theft. Do these statistics pertain to a three-week period; or closer to six weeks?

In a capital city the size of Belfast, I assert that this number is minute. How many of these criminals will be prosecuted; or given custodial sentences, one wonders?

The truth is that there is hardly one police constable to be seen on the streets of Belfast. Blink and you'll miss them. Considerably more police are required on the beat, in order to deter crime, lawlessness and disorder.

I challenge the superintendent to tell us how many police constables were out, on the beat, in central Belfast today. How many police officers were out, on the streets, in east Belfast today?


John Self said...

In fairness, I see more police on the beat now than I used to (ie 'any' as opposed to 'none'). We were in town last week and saw a police vehicle parked on Arthur Street (that's right, pedestrianised Arthur Street) marked "City Centre Beat". This made Mrs Self laugh as she thought it sounded like a radio station.

Historically Northern Ireland has had low crime rates in comparison with the rest of the UK: probably more through the threat of 'community justice' for wrongdoers than through any inherent virtuousness in the local population. I do remember reading years ago in the local paper about burglary statistics for East Belfast, and being surprised at how low the number was - it worked out at just a handful a day across east Belfast over the three month period. Of course people might not report burglaries as they know the prospects of recovering your goods are nil. This is why the best measure of crime is not reported offences but the British Crime Survey.

Timothy Belmont said...

Fair point John!

I'll admit to some bias here, since our home was burgled in 2005; and my car stolen down the road in 2006; and I have not heard one word from them ever since. My faith in them has been catastrophically damaged!
They didn't even bother to carry our forensics on my car when it was recovered - in an awful state. In retrospect I was lucky (if that's the word) to get it back.