“no better than we deserve..”

Speaking of the talking shop.. A BBC report notes that “Assembly members have unanimously backed a motion calling for a zero tolerance policy towards crime.” Well, let’s hope that the Chief Constable, Sir Hugh Orde takes note of that operational decision.. I’d suggest that he’d be more than happy to introduce “a zero tolerance policy against crime and anti-social behaviour on our streets”.. *shakes head*There’s a caveat, of course..

From the BBC report

Assembly members rejected an amendment from the Alliance Party’s Stephen Farry urging devolved ministers to also guarantee the PSNI an adequate budget in the event of policing and justice powers being transferred from Westminster.

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  • Rubicon

    What a daft ammendment from Farry! Why didn’t he just announce his party had neither expectation nor ambition to join a future Executive?

    Oh – he just did. Silly me!

    [the ball, rubicon? – edited moderator]

  • joeCanuck

    Most strange.
    Wonder if any legislature has passed a policy declaring an almost zero tolerance policy towards crime.
    Shaking my head too.

  • Pete Baker

    Rubicon

    It doesn’t seem to be an unreasonable amendment.

    There would be an additional cost involved in implementing such a policy.

  • patrique

    I blame all crime on the schools. Most of it is probably due to classroom assistants wondering if they can pay the electric bill with their pittance of a wage, which somehow causes them to temporarily stop thinking about the children.

  • Rubicon

    Why should zero tolerance automatically require an increase in funding for the police? I could see it leading to more funding for the prison service but while habitual offenders are detained at HMs pleasure there are fewer criminals for the police to chase. Instead the police can return to their preferred revenue generating schemes pointing speed cameras at those in a hurry.

    The simple removal of 50% remission will keeo repeat offenders off the streets. The irony is that this cannot happen while unionism retains insufficient confidence in NIs body politic. It’s a smoke screen to pretend the issue of lawlessness in the streets is a result of insufficient police funding.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pete, what about a motion something along the lines of: This Assembly calls for all bears to shit in woods, as we firmly believe that the bleeding obvious needs to be stated firmly and constantly, but particularly at those emotional moments when there is some doubt over whether, in fact, there is any poo below the leaves, or when emotions are in any way heightened by lack of such brown matter amongst foliage.

    In addition, we firmly believe in resisting any understanding of where the term ‘zero tolerance’ originated, and as such demand that any broken windows in the woods are double glazed in future.

    Only then, can public confidence be restored in the police doing what they are supposed to do, although even though we forgive them when they are not provided with adequate supplies of ursine toilet paper, glazing skills or budget.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Amendment: Omit ‘though’ in last paragragh.

  • Pete Baker

    “Why should zero tolerance automatically require an increase in funding for the police?”

    Rubi

    Because each individual processing of any criminal action involves a cost.. and if there was a no tolerance approach then every processing of each criminal action would require that processing.. and that additional cost.

  • Rubicon

    I see a post of mine has been partly censored – for the first time! My apologies to Slugger and I’ll not waste time debating the need for censorship to evaluate context. My fault then. I know the “man and ball rule” so let me rephrase:

    Farry’s amendment was an expression of political incompetence that failed to attend to the issue being debated while also describing his political party to be convinced of their future irrelevance.

    I hope Mr. Farry and Ed. Is happier with this description. My personal conclusion as to the adroitness of Farry is informed by his competence – or absence of same. That I mustn’t post that conclusion is fair enough. Readers can draw their own conclusions on whether their political representatives are worth the money they pay them or whether the valuable time they have to speak on constituents behalf has been tossed away.

  • IJP

    Quite on the contary, Rubicon, it was a very clever amendment clearly designed to show Alliance as a more effective governing party when it comes to actual delivery.

    The DUP motion called for a commitment to no reduction of funding by the NIO.

    Alliance added that the Executive should put its money where its mouth is, and make the same commitment once the Executive has responsibility for policing and justice.

    The other Assembly parties rejected this, thus refusing to commit to maintaining policing budget and resource levels even at their current level, while at the same time calling for a zero tolerance policy (and therefore for a further strain on those resources).

    How, precisely, do they propose to deliver this policy withouth being prepared even to match current police and justice funding?

    Ergo Alliance is the only party committed not just to the principle of a zero tolerance policy, but also to the delivery of it.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Rubicon

    Do not underestimate the ease with which the Executive can be embarrassed, nor Mr Farry’s intellect.

  • Rubicon

    Fair enough Pete – processing involves time and therefore a cost. What is not clear tò me is whether a financial cost automatically follows from a new policing strategy that services a zero tolerence policy. A re-priotisation of policing priorities can release resources without a need for increased finance. Laws that held the ‘cultural organisations’ responsible for the policing costs of their ‘Festivals’ and the damage caused to public property are also worthy of consideration. It may be that the police need more money but it doesn’t naturally follow.

    A business case for increased funding would be nice. I’d then like the Assembly to scrutinise that case. Repeat offenders are responsible for a great deal of crime. Dealing with lawlessness – in my view – isn’t a matter for policing alone.

  • joeCanuck

    I must admit to being totally confused now (not for the first time).
    To me, a policeman or woman issuing a caution does not abnegate the zero tolerance stance.
    Am I missing something?

  • Rubicon

    BelfastGonzo – underestimate Farry’s intellect?

    You beg a question that Slugger will not brook a reply. It’s a funny thing about the not playing the man rule that doesn’t censor self abuse. Sing Farry’s praise if you must but the case you’ve built it on is far from convincing.

    Would a campaign to combat HIV need to guarantee GP salaries? I susoect the APNI response would be “yes”.

  • The Penguin

    Blfast Gonzo
    “In addition, we firmly believe in resisting any understanding of where the term ‘zero tolerance’ originated, and as such demand that any broken windows in the woods are double glazed in future.”

    Great point, well made.
    I’m not sure, though, that people on here know anything about the “Broken Windows” policing philosophy.
    And I’m absolutely certain about 90% of our politicos don’t.

    The name of the guy, Professor ……, who actually developed it escapes me, but he despised the term “zero-tolerance” because it over-simplified and didn’t at all explain precisley what he was advocating. In fact it gives a completely wrong impression.

    It’s a pity someone didn’t ask Jeffrey what he meant by zero-tolerance and how he imagines it will work in practice.
    This was soundbite, cliche, play to the public gallery, politics. Totally meaningless and useless.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Next week’s assembly agenda in full

    Monday 10 a.m.
    Motion against people getting sick
    10.15 a.m.
    Motion condemning the weather
    10.30 a.m.
    Motion by Roy Beggs junior for the fifth time calling for heating allowance for pensioners, but very different this time because of the insertion of a new semi-colon in the third line
    10.40 -20.00 lunch

    Tuesday -Friday 10.00-17.00
    committee stage of the Assemblymember pension fund provisions and allowances Bill

  • Nevin

    “Dealing with lawlessness – in my view – isn’t a matter for policing alone.”

    Nor the police alone. How much ‘policing’ (and ‘justice’) have the authorities unofficially delegated to the loyalist and republican paramilitary godfathers? How many people still resort to the paramilitaries rather than ‘waste time’ going through official channels?

  • K man

    This is less a matter for Police and more a matter for the courts. An end to 50% remission and harsher sentencing would be a start. Plus the space at the grey bar hotel to hiuse them.

    Ask any Police officer to take you to the door of the five worst offenders in his/her town and they will do so with ease. The problem occurs when they are brought before a court and tickled before walking out. The recent “48 times caught driving pensioner” case shows the lack of spine in the courts.

    On a slight tangent, Rubicon, I have been driving for years and have never been fined for speeding, mainly because I don’t speed. IF YOU DON’T BREAK THE LAW, YOU CAN’T GET CAUGHT!

  • kensei

    “Because each individual processing of any criminal action involves a cost.. and if there was a no tolerance approach then every processing of each criminal action would require that processing.. and that additional cost.”

    In New York in the late 80’s and early 90’s the NYPD converted buses into mobile police stations and reduced both the time and paperwork necessary to carry out an arrest. So they could do things like pull in people for faring dodging on the subway, and implement a zero tolerance / broken window policy.

    If the police want more money, then they should present a case subject to scrutiny and further suggestion. Perhaps also demonstrate some competence and action within their current budgets before getting more, too. Rather than you know, giving them a blank cheque.

    That said, what a stupid motion.

  • Dec

    Ask any Police officer to take you to the door of the five worst offenders in his/her town and they will do so with ease.

    Judging by yesterday’s report in the Irish News they wouldn’t even need to leave the Police Station.