An Important Point for Posterity (And for the Benefit of Lyda)

22 05 2017

London

AR just ran a story about potential personnel cutbacks in the London Metropolitan Police Service (“The Met” aka “Scotland Yard”).

I commented:

Just the fact that there will be fewer cops will be constantly used as an excuse, a crutch, to pawn the blame off the increasing crime rates.

Pay attention to the news: It happens all the time. Urban politicians will, among other convenient consequence-free taboo-free blowback-free excuses that they spout, rely on the “bawk not enough cops” or “bawk we need more cops” bromides. Yes, Lyda Krewson, I’m looking at you, too.

The reason why it’s nonsense relates to a concept that economists, accountants, auditors, financeers and other business types know so well: Relevant Range.

If there were zero beat cops, and it was understood that there were none, then that would actually cause violent crime to go through the ceiling. If there were twice as many cops as there are civilians in London, and the cops didn’t have to worry about civil rights provisions, then of course that would cause violent crime to fall through the floor. However, here in the real world, those two scenarios are outside the relevant range of reality. (Say that 20 times in a row really quickly.) In reality, there will be a certain minimum number of cops on the London Metropolitan Police Service, because of politics, and there will be a certain maximum number of cops on the same Service, because of budgetary concerns. And, they will generally be subject to some wise and some unwise constraints on their ability to wield power and force.

It is my assessment that, no matter the number of London cops that there are, the number will always be within the relevant range of neither being able to cause violent crime by being too low or prevent violent crime by being too high. To put it another way, here in the real world of London circa the current year, violent crime is going to be what it’s going to be, and caused by the various factors that cause it, and the precise number of cops won’t make any difference either way.

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7 responses

22 05 2017
countenance

Also remember what I’ve written here several times in the recent past.

Shitavious and M’RQuan are in a room in a house on the north side. They get into an argument with each other over the last can of grape soda. One murders the other.

Pray tell, Lyda, how would the SLPD having 10% (or even 110%) more beat cops have prevented this?

22 05 2017
UlricKerensky

I will partially disagree. The number of active police matters if it leads to investigations which lead to arrests. Police who are not patrolling don’t generate reports which don’t lead to arrests. Of course this is London where people are arrested for hanging bacon on doorknobs and probably deliberately attacked in custody.

There is some evidence in the states, buried under the usual cover, that repeat violent crime is dominated by people who have done it before, and getting them off the street, usually by status offense, or DNA “hit”, is what drove the “adjusted” violent crime numbers back in the good old late 90s/late 00s.

22 05 2017
countenance

I don’t think you’re even partially disagreeing with me.

“The number of active police matters if it leads to investigations which leads to arrests…” — The number of active police is almost entirely likely to be within that relevant range.

Unless there’s something I’m missing.

22 05 2017
UlricKerensky

I think US political and fiscal realities have brought the probable range so far down that they are so swamped that getting even the worst off the street is becoming problematic. Letting them kill each other does result in a lower official clearance rste, but I don’t think the trend of violent death for violent criminals is completely coubtering the reduced likely detection and sentence chance for said violent criminals.

Tl;Dr, I think we’re at the staffing levels where operational efficiency of removing the existing violent offenders is compromised.

22 05 2017
Alex the Goon

If only they had more beat cops in Rotherham, they could have ignored the child prostitution rings with even more-extreme non-prejudice.

2 06 2017
You Knew This Was Coming | Countenance Blog

[…] Anyway, Lyda has put her two cents in, and you’ll never guess what her solution is. […]

19 06 2017
Bear Sightings, Imminent | Countenance Blog

[…] like I’ve been saying, it won’t really do any […]

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