I was enjoying a meal out recently. My small glass of wine went down very nicely, and I wanted a second, I was driving so that wasn’t an option. A thought crossed my mind however, ‘what if I did have another glass, it’s not like there are any police around so I’m very unlikely to be caught!’
I cannot remember the last time I saw a police car on the road, I thought I saw one the other day and remember thinking, wow there’s a sight you don’t see often…turned out to be an ambulance. As a person who respects the law and has a moral compass I would never intentionally break the law let alone endanger the lives of others by drink driving, obviously I didn’t have that second glass of wine. Now, I might think like this but how many do not? If a law-abiding and moral person considers breaking the law because I am unlikely to be caught, what do those who have no respect for the law or any moral fibre think? I suspect they just do what they want!
With so few police around now, the lack of presence is felt by us all. This has led to the easy expansion of toxic county lines gangs, and the recruitment of vulnerable people into drugs and modern-day slavery. It also means that those who commit acts of violence can do so with minimal fear of repercussions. We are told now that the police have such limited resources that they can only deal with serious crime. If an individual who is at risk of committing small acts of violence and they do so with no repercussions, what is there to deter them from doing so again, and again, and again. Eventually they go too far and accidentally take or ruin a life. This person has been failed by the system as they were not picked up early, they were not deterred, and they were not given the support early on that could have prevented the inevitable.
The longer this continues the more we are heading for a lawless society where people can do what they want without fear of repercussion. Eventually even those who do respect the law will begin to break what are perceived to be more minor crimes. It’s a concerning thought that we could continue our slippery slope. We need more police, the evidence for this is mounting daily, the negative impact of police cuts is obvious. We can educate and prevent all we want but we still need a strong police force to enforce the law and ensure we respect right from wrong.
Our Government must improve policing so that prevention work is not in vain. It is no good preventing violence when those we are working with see no risks or repercussions from violent acts and see older individuals committing violence with no comeuppance.