Thursday, August 11, 2011

Robert Peel: Vigilante!

Focusing like a laser on the key issue, as ever, liberals have decided that the real problem with law and order breaking down is that it encourages ordinary people to defend their communities.

Oh sure, they're all for it when the defenders are exotically ethnic, but when the white trash get involved, why, that could ruin the riot for everybody.

Liberals claim to be terrified by the prospect of people taking the law into their own hands, even when there's no law to be had in the district anyway. There's plenty of humbuggery on show here, not least in hearing deranged cop-haters explaining why only fascist pigs are competent to protect the public, but the central issue is this: the argument against vigilantism is a constitutional as well as a moral absurdity.

Consider Sir Robert Peel's own principles of law enforcement, specifically number 7:
Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
Or, to put it another way, the police are just citizens in uniform, which means the idea that one group of citizens are required to curl up in a ball and await rescue from another bunch of citizens makes not a lick of sense. If it's illegal for one group of citizens to patrol their own neighbourhood, then that would surely apply to hirelings of the state drafted in from out of town.

Then there's principle number 1:
The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
My unnuanced take on that is 'prevent' means in the sense of 'stopping it happening' not 'standing around filming it, then arresting the perp two weeks later'.

Letting scumbags run rampage and catching them later might be safer for the police, but the citizen is under no moral or legal duty to let himself be victimised merely for the convenience of the police.


JuliaM said...

You'll note, with a wry chuckle, that all the various groups of vigilan...sorry, 'defenders of their community' (Turks, Muslims, Sikhs) drew a cautious eye from the police, but no action.

A handful of EDL/football fans in Eltham, however, and the police moved like greased cheetahs to flood the place.

Laban said...

Only "half a dozen" oficers to watch that old boy in Ealing being beaten to death by 'the community'.

1,000 officers (allegedly) to confront the fearsome middle-aged white menace.

AlanG said...

An interesting post on the subject of communities defending themselves here:

Rob said...

The 'contract' was that citizens abstained from defending both the their private and public space and instead trusted the 'professionals' to take care of it.

The professionals then put their feet up on the desk and said 'whateva'.

After their pisspoor effort last weekend it will be some years yet before a senior policeman dares say the word 'vigilante' outside of a Hampstead dinner party.

Anonymous said...

Laban - I saw the 'middle-aged' thing too. Deliberate belittling of the particpants.

Elsewhere they were described asaged between 20 and 50.

So twenty is middle aged now.