After the 7/7 bombings last year, we noted that British police were forced to stop random immigration checks on Tube passengers several months before the bombing and wrote, “So much for the London equivalent of the Broken Windows theory of crime prevention”.
The American Spectator notes that the Broken Windows Theory has made all the difference in the world in England’s soaring crime rates and the comparatively low rates in Manhattan:
American and British criminologists have long been puzzled and angered by the fact that Britain seems to have learnt nothing from the experience of New York in successfully reducing crime.
The big drop in virtually all types of crime in New York has generally been attributed to the zero-tolerance policy associated with Mayor Guiliani. Now Britain, far from adopting zero-tolerance, looks like it’s adopting a policy of not prosecuting many serious crimes at all. This is the subject of an official Home Office directive to all British police forces. British police have now been told that instead of arresting a range of serious criminals, they can be let off with a caution.
The Home Office says offenses that may now be dealt with by a caution include burglary of a shop or office, threatening to kill, actual bodily harm, and possession of Class A drugs such as heroin or cocaine if police decide a caution would be the best approach.
Other crimes including common assault, threatening behavior, sex with an underage girl or boy, and car theft should normally be dealt with by a caution, if the offenders admit their guilt but have no criminal record.
London and British crime rates have been increasing for years. Recently total crime rates for London have been estimated at about seven times those of New York for a slightly smaller population and some authorities suggest these figures have been minimized. England and Wales are now accounted by some estimates as the most dangerous places for crime in the developed world.
New York and London have populations of 8 million and 7 million respectively and comparable police budgets, though New York has about 40 percent more police actually on the beat. British papers retail many incidents of British police, rather than preventing crime, being kept busy “celebrating diversity” and prosecuting politically incorrect remarks and behavior (large amounts of money and court time have been spent by the Crown Prosecution Service on cases of children who have made politically incorrect remarks in school playground fights, for instance).
If Rudy doesn’t make a run for the White House in 2008, maybe he should go after Tony Blair or Ken Livingstone’s jobs. God knows England needs him.