Crime in the United States was pretty much out of control by the 1970’s.
There were a variety of reasons for that, but I think the biggest factor is that a new strategy of enforcing the law came in to vogue. The public was encouraged to view criminals not as bad people who need to be punished for their misdeeds, but as lonely forgotten souls who were driven to crime due to bad experiences during their formative years.
Perps were sick, you see, and they needed healing and compassion more than hatred and marginalization.
This attitude eventually got turned around, but it took awhile. It took even longer for the damage caused by this touchy-feely crap to get cleaned up, but it finally happened. This is due to the fact that the number of convictions started to climb, and the number of convictions that resulted in jail time also started to increase. This resulted in a larger prison population, but the results are hard to ignore.
Crimes against property started to fall by 1980, but it wasn’t until 1993 that we saw a reduction of violent crimes.
Still, once the ball started to roll it just kept on hurtling downhill. Today the people in the United States enjoy an aggregate crime rate that is less than half of what it was during the dark and lawless days.
Although most Liberals will try their best to dance around it, it seems indisputable to me that putting violent offenders in prison reduces violent crime on the street. If any of them want to show compassion for the perps, they can just rent out their basement to recently released ex-cons.
Just about everyone interested in law enforcement and self defense has noted that Britain seems to be going through the same thing we did back in the 1970’s. It wouldn’t be out of line to say that criminals are held in higher regard than their victims, so much so that the old cliché about “I couldn’t get arrested in this town” has come true all across the United Kingdom.
Raw Carrot has recently reviewed a new book about the explosion of crime in Britain. The book is entitled A Land Fit for Criminals, and it pretty much explains how the criminal justice system in Old Blighty rewards criminal behavior. It is something like the nurturing environment found in a Petri dish in that it is perfect for growing the lowest forms of life.
I did keep noticing the difference between British and American sensibilities, though. In one chapter, RC reproduced a chart from the book which depicts some graffiti that criminals will scrawl on a house to indicate the pickings. There are signs to show if there is lots of money inside, if the residents can be bullied, stuff like that. I found RC’s comments to be really revealing.
“…I did contemplate adding my own “nothing worth stealing” mark to our gatepost.”
That is a typical British response, I suppose. The first thing I would do would be to mark the sign for “Too Risky” on my own house. It seems to me that most of my American readers would probably do the same thing, but with glow-in-the-dark paint.
Raw Carrot has included a great many links in his review, so the post is a gold mine of information. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
(A big fat hairy hat tip to blog goddess Natalie Solent.)
6 thoughts on “Lockdown”
I used to have that old sign with the business end of revolver painted on it that read “To Hell with the Dog, Beware of the Owner” and another one with the legend “Anyone found here past midnight will be found here in the morning.”. I put them in our kitchen window when we lived in a crime-ridden neighborhood.
The anti-crime policies of 60s-70s America and contemporary Britain both arise from the desire of an articulate elite to exert their dominance by defining problems such as crimes in terms which only they can solve. They want everyone to believe that only they could solve the problems and therefor only they deserved political power. While they controlled academia and the media they maintained power even as the crime problem deteriorated severely.
In the end, it was America’s diverse and compartmentalized political system and our relatively open media that saved us. Different areas rebelled beyond the control of the articulate elite, their crime rates fell and soon the rest of the country followed.
I worry that Britain and the rest of Europe may lack the diversity in politics and media to escape the trap. Their liberal states may spiral downward into ineffectiveness until a whipsaw counter reaction causes them collapse into some form of Fascism.
I lived a long time in Japan, where violent crime outside the mafia is rather rare. Prisons there are famed for their rough enforcement of discipline, regimentation and poor food. Certainly no place I risked getting put.
Tom – I concur. When I lived in Tokyo the peace was kept by an iron fist underneath. There were plenty of Korean mafiosi in evidence in East Shinjuku (where Stephen Sagal’s dojo is located), but very little violent crime.
Your post reminded me of the ’60s Batman series on TV and the endless posturing that all criminals could be reformed.
Glad you liked the post. It is certainly a very good book. On the question of my “British response” – I know what you mean. Trouble is, there have been numerous cases in the UK where the victim of the crime has been the one sent to prison for using “excessive force” or some such nonsense against the criminal. Indeed, I recall one case where the burglar actually claimed costs off the victim because they cut themselves on a window on their way in!!! Sickening… That’s what ridiculous “Human Rights” legislation has given us.
Anyway, all in all: I’d settle for the government doubling capacity in prisons – and filling them. It would, at least, however pathetic, be a start.
Comments are closed.