L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

20 April 2007 Blog Home : April 2007 : Permalink

Criminalizing the Victims

So the UK, which as we know has banned guns and is therefore completely safe, has a problem. The problem is that those non-existent guns still get used in crimes and the victims of those crimes, at least that is the victims who are still alive and not pushing up the daisies, are loathe to press charges or tell the police. According to the BBC and the Grauniad the Chief CuntStubble Constable of Murkeyside has come up with a cunning plan to make the victims more likely to grass on their attackers:

Merseyside's Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe told the Guardian newspaper that the protective "wall of silence" around those involved had to be broken.

He said Britain should adopt laws similar to those in Australia which make it a duty to report information.

Yes indeed here you are, you've just had some nasty criminal shoot you and the polce want you to tell them whodunnit on pain of going to the chokey if you decide that discretion is likely to involve living longer and better than spilling the beans.

Now why, one wonders, would a reasonable law abiding subject of Her Majesty decide that he (or she) would prefer not to tell the police who the attacker was? I've got some suggestions.
  1. As a lawabiding person you are unarmed and know full well that if you attempt to defend yourself the police will charge you with assault anyway.
  2. You have this vague feeling that calling 999 when you hear someone kicking in the door will not result in the Sweeney showing up before your attacker and/or his mates have had their way with you
  3. If by some miracle the fuzz do show up first, the attacker and/or mates will scatter leaving you to be charged with wasting police time
In other words once you are shot you then become a criminal unless you have sufficient confidence in the police being able to arrest your attacker and that he won't have some gang of friends who wish to explain to you in words of one kick that they don't appreciate your cooperation with the law.

The Grauniad piece (which the BBC mostly summarizes) also ends up with this total statistical non-sequitur:

In 2004-05, there were 78 fatal shootings in England and Wales: 40 victims were white, 25 black, seven Asian. The figures do not record the ethnicity of the killers but, by and large, murderers tend mostly to target members of their own ethnic group. In 2005-06, there were 50 fatal shootings: 18 victims were white, 19 black and four Asian.

The law this maroon is proposing is about people who are shot but survive. People who are fatally shot do not survive to tell the police anything. An article last year in the Independent tells us there were a lot of gun incidents behind those low numbers of deaths:

Gun crime rose slightly in the United Kingdom last year, to 11,110 incidents. There were 3,865 firearms offences in London, up 7 per cent, with Lambeth, Hackney and Haringey seeing 25 per cent rises. One tenth of all firearms offences in the UK are shootings: Trident dealt with 241 non-fatal shootings in the year to March - up by one third - with 15 fatal shootings.

(I assume the "last year" is 2005). So we have about 11,000 gun crimes, 1100 shootings and roughly 60 fatal shootings. Oh and depsite all those draconian gun laws the gun crimes are going up as are just about all other violent crimes. And the way to stop this is to send the victims to prison if they don't cooperate.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin