Personally I’ve never been a great fan of big cities – they are usually (IMHO) nasty, dirty, smelly, over-crowded and crime-ridden – but if for the last few decades if you asked me which big city I’d choose if I had to live in a big city then the big city would have been London. This is not just because – technically – I’m a Londoner, having lived the first three or so years of my life in Dagenham (next to Barking), but because London has all the best bits of big cities (culture, history, world cuisine …) and was relatively safe and easy to live in.

I’m not sure that is the case anymore.

I know quite a few people who live in London and none of them seem to be impressed with recent events and, in particular the increased lawlessness. More particularly they are unimpressed with the priorities of the Police who are, allegedly, tasked with stopping it. Rod Liddle put it fairly well in the Wapping Liar a few days ago in an article about the pensioner who had the temerity to defend his house and family by stabbing a would-be burglar:

But there is a big gap between what the public thinks and what our liberal elite thinks. Burglary is an unfashionable crime, politically, and the police don’t have much time for it any more. It took them two days to decide not to charge him. It was almost as if they were saying: “You own a house? You are asking for it. There are people who don’t own houses. You are in a privileged position.”

The head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Sara Thornton, is happy to explain why the Old Bill won’t be bothering too much about burglaries. “We need to move from reacting to some of those traditional crimes,” she has said. What a brilliant term — “traditional crimes”. We should be concentrating on the online abuse of people, hate crimes, paedophilia and so on, she added.

In one of those “you can’t make this up” moments is turns out that Mr Liddle was investigated for some kind of hate crime for something he wrote later in the same article:

The Welsh, or some of them, are moaning that a motorway bridge linking their rain-sodden valleys with the First World is to be renamed the Prince of Wales Bridge. In honour of the venal, grasping, deranged (if Tom Bower’s new biography is accurate) heir to the throne. That Plaid Cymru woman who is always on Question Time has been leading the protests. They would prefer it to be called something indecipherable with no real vowels, such as Ysgythysgymlngwchgwch Bryggy.

Moreover the cop in question showed exactly what his priorities were:

After it emerged both complaints were likely to be rejected, he even suggested new laws were needed to make insulting the Welsh illegal.

Last night Mr Jones, a Welsh nationalist, was accused of interfering with policing priorities and told to concentrate on cutting crime in North Wales.

According to this jobsworth (paid £70,000-a-year) insulting the Welsh should be made a crime to go along with insulting Allah or gay people, although he did get considerable blow back from other people who suggested that he get on with being a police commissioner and investigating actual crimes. To go back to Mr Liddle’s controversial article, he started off neatly illustrating what American 2nd Amendment people say all the time about “when seconds count the police are just minutes away”:

We had the anti-terrorism Old Bill around my house a bit ago. They were there because I’m apparently on a list of people Allah believes is deserving of decapitation, inshallah. Allah and — more recently — Max Mosley, I fear.

They just wanted to let me know, the coppers, without wishing to alarm. …. I asked if they had advice as to how we might improve our security. “You could have a panic button,” said one. Mentalist Islamic warriors break in, you press the button and it sounds an alarm at the local police station. How long would it take them to arrive? “Oh, no more than 45 minutes.” Right, thank you.

This does in fact seem to be symptomatic of the police and other elite sorts these days. They ban all sorts of things (e.g. knives even posh cutlery made of Sheffield steel) that inconvenience the law-abiding while doing very little that impacts those that are not so law-abiding

Indeed as Tim Newman demonstrates, it sometimes seems like the police prefer to protect the “rights” of the bad guys over those of the general law-abiding public:

So did they remove the tributes from the nearby property? Of course not! This being Plod, they came out in favour of the travellers, issuing this statement:

My officers have a responsibility to provide reassurance to local residents so they can go about their daily lives, while also respecting the wishes of family and friends to mark the loss of a loved one.

“They are not there to safeguard or facilitate the laying of floral tributes; we are liaising with the local authority who are considering appropriate management of the floral tributes.

“I do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death.

“We would urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.

In case anyone is concerned this whole fiasco is an exercise in intimidation, don’t worry, Plod has that covered too:

People laying flowers in tribute to a suspected burglar who was fatally stabbed should not feel intimidated, a senior Met Police officer says.

Yes, clearly it’s the people laying the flowers who are feeling intimidated, not the pensioner who knows he can never return home and is now forced to sell his house. And don’t you love the BBC’s language here? “Suspected burglar”, eh? What was this career criminal doing in someone else’s house? Checking for damp?

I suspect a lot of this has to do with targets that politicians and the like give to the police, plus the same fear of accusations of racism etc. that allowed Telford, Rochdale etc. What it boils down to is that it is easier to meet targets for solving crimes and the like if you pick on the law-abiding and find ways to charge them with crimes because they will seek some kind of a plea bargain that allows them to keep their job, lifestyle rather than try and fight and take the risk that they lose in court. On the other hand the criminal classes don’t care about a paying job and their lifestyle is not going to change unless they actually serve time so they’ll scream blue murder and claim racism, sexism and 1001 other isms. I’m 99% sure that the police get promotions by reviews where they solve crimes without being accused of being *-ist or causing their superiors to go on TV to apologize to “community leaders”.

The result is that incentives align such that the police end up helping the criminals and persecuting the law-abiding. This isn’t a good thing – and it doesn’t seem to me to be limited to the UK either.