Prior to about the year 2000, the operational police to resident ratio in many areas around Australia was about 1 as to 900 in the city and 1 as to 1,100 in the country. Have you heard about Simpson’s paradox?
It is a phenomenon in probability and statistics, in which a trend appears in several different groups of data but disappears or reverses when these groups are combined. You can’t always rely on crime statistics to tell you what is happening in society. However, it is obvious that if you have little need for high police to resident ratio that the level of harmony in a community must be reasonable as no one is complaining they need more police on the streets.
As you may have noted, in the Exploration Notes of the proposed Bill the statement [ … ] “the barometer of harmony [ in society] is a low police-to-resident ratio.” Therefore the question is, “What has actually happened to our society over the past 20 years?”
Since about the year 2000 the police to resident ratio has been steadily increasing as politicians seeking to be elected promised more police on the streets to address complaints from residents about crime. Did it work? The short answer is “no”. In fact, in relative terms within the context of “civil unrest” and crime as a form of rebellion against authority, things are far worse compared to the past.
Much of this “civil unrest” is covered up by those in power because it is evidence of their incompetence and/or that there is inequality in the community stemming from corruption. The matter of strategies to reduce violent crime is an aspect of the proposed Bill, however returning the subject matter of authoritarianism is the following.
The news story “Call for Curfews” which sounds like something associated with wartime, was popular among politicians in Townsville as the solution to the crime there. Whilst I am not sure, I believe that around 2015 there was a dramatic increase in the number of police going from about 1 as to 850 to 1 as to 700 and less sometime in 2016. Did crime reduce by a corresponding 10 percent or more, no I think it may have increased?
The same thing was happening around Australia, the police to resident ratio were steadily going up and crime wasn’t reducing. Of particular note, was the increase in violent crime. Hence the up-gunning of the police and them putting on near black uniforms and body armour. Black uniforms historically, is the colour of intimidation.
Did the police ask for this colour, I doubt it. They were put into this uniform by those that favour an authoritarian system of things. So we mustn’t blame the police for their appearance. But we must closely look behind the curtain to learn why they don’t want the public to trust their police and for the police not to trust the public?
The ratio varies from place to place in response to crime statistics. For example, in Gympie (Qld) it is 1 officer to 492 residents. The residents of Gympie must be terrible people in the eyes of the law compared to Brisbane West which only has 1 officer as to 901 residents. However, in Mount Isa it is about 1 officer to 183 residents so I suppose Gympie is middle of the road. You would think to have lots of police on the streets would have resulted in less crime. That is a misconception and the reason why it has been counterproductive is outlined below.
The highest ratio that I have come across was in the NT where one town had a ratio of 1 as 50 and the police department reduced the training from 6 months to 3 months for a specific purpose to counter growing civil unrest in some of its largest towns. They were putting people in uniforms as quickly as possible as things were getting out of control. I am happy to provide a statutory declaration that I heard a police trainer say to a group of trainees in the NT, “Don’t be backward in being rough on some of these people, and that is coming from the top.” Has an increasing police to resident ratio worked?
Has safer communities been the resulted?
Well a safe community does not need a police service, now called a “force” carrying military-style firearms and armed with paperless arrest and un-arrest laws. When I say “paperless” I am referring to arrest without charge and held without written explanation nor financially viable recourse for compensation.
Today we are far from Westminister and beyond Napoleonic with some laws that don’t even exist in some communist countries. Section 114 of the Australia Constitution comes to mind, words to the effect that the State may not raise a “military force”.
There is a good reason why you don’t have the military do police work. Because when you of do the enemies of the State that once came from outside the State begin to emerge from within the State. I am unsure if I see much of a difference between what was once the police service and what now appears to be a para-military force controlled by the State. What about you, what do you see?
But hey the residents must feel safer, right? Well the ones I have spoken too, don’t think so. So whenever you hear a politician seeking to be elected by getting tough on crime by putting more police on the streets take note of the above.
Elect someone that has policies that represent sensible well researched and thought out strategies to improve the harmony of their respective communities. Authoritarianism is not the solution to crime as it only encourages a form of crime that represents a pushback against authority.