Time For The Family To Cough Up?

Last Sunday afternoon I was having a quiet pint with a couple of mates and the topic of the best careers for your children came up. One of the lads proudly announced that his nineteen year old son was thinking of joining the police. Now I’ve nothing personally against the old bill and they do their best in difficult circumstances but his announcement suddenly put me right off my beer because I found myself in this same situation many years ago. I had considered the police force as a great and exciting career, particularly as I used to sit up mesmerised by ‘The Sweeny’ which, for those of you who are wondering what the hell I’m talking about, was and remains the finest police drama ever aired on British television.

But then I began to take serious notice of the early evening news  bulletins where I would learn how British policeman, armed with a banana and a sherry trifle, were expected to chase gun wielding scumbags into dilapidated housing estates throughout the country and somehow avoid getting their heads blown off. Sadly in the preceding years little has changed.  Admittedly the police now have harder truncheons and a thing called a mace. The criminals on the other hand have progressed to AK-47s. and hand held magnums, and I’m not talking about the ones covered in that delicious coating of dark melting chocolate that drip all over your speedos on the Costas.  You know the unarmed policeman in places like London and Dublin are, we are told, the envy of the world. But they’re envied a far lot more by the gun wielding, drug pushing thugs who feel more threatened by a tortoise than a hard rubber- sausage touting bobby.

So is it any wonder that so many of these criminals get away, literally with murder, in many cases? Well actually it’s no wonder at all because just imagine yourself for one moment as that young nineteen or twenty-something copper. You earn two pounds an hour, you have a wooden banana against a semi-automatic revolver and you may have a young wife and child at home. Are you really going to chase some out of control, armed to the teeth smack-head up a spew riddled staircase in Tower Hamlets all the while hoping you’re back home in time for little Nigel’s fifth birthday party?

No you wouldn’t. And neither would most of us. Certainly none of our useless politicians would ever consider it. I’ve heard the usual plethora of experts droning on about the continual deaths as a result of gang feuds and drugs crimes not being a police problem but a legal problem. Nonsense on both counts I’m afraid because the real problem is societies’ level of tolerance. Even if you were the aforementioned young officer and valiantly continued the chase and arrested the scumbag while only losing one arm what’s the point? The courts will probably dish out some cuddly, light liberal sentence with the scumbag spending enough time in the five star hotel that passes for a prison where he will have access to all manner of pleasant facilities including a gymnasium and enough steroids to ensure he grows to be three times bigger than the prison shithouse and twenty more time angrier and all the while he learns more tricks of the trade, and makes more criminal ‘friends’ all of which ensure that on his release he won’t be pursuing a respectable career in insurance or office administration. No he’ll go into customer service’ although this particular brand is accompanied by the removal of knee caps and DIY teeth extraction.

So what’s to be done? Thankfully the answer is simple. So simple in fact that we should curse ourselves for not thinking of it decades ago.  Why should us, you and me, the tax payer contribute our hard earned taxes to pay for the criminal apprenticeships that these dregs of society receive when they’re banged up? Therefore from some future date, actually next Monday suits me, any criminal found guilty of any drugs, shooting, robbing or gang related offence will be sentenced in the same way as now but their immediate family will be forced to make a percentage contribution to his or her prison upkeep. If the scumbag has no parents, then his siblings will cough up, if he has no siblings, then his cousins or his aunties or uncles and even his grandparents if we get that far down his genealogical drain. And if any of the above are on benefits then there will be a percentage cut to those.

So the next time some low life goes to rob an old age pensioner or shoot some rival gang member he’ll have to check his parent’s bank account first or at the very least have a bloody good explanation during prison visiting hours as to why he prevented them from taking their annual two weeks abroad in Benidorm. And even if this didn’t work at least it’s a damn sight better than the constant clueless hand-wringing that our so-called leaders indulge in on this issue. And all of the cash saved in taxes could be put to better use. Perhaps a start would be have all police truncheons customised into pump action flame-throwers.


27th May 2016.