England - Police battling 'inner-city anarchy'

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Monday May 15, 7:30 PM

Police battling 'inner-city anarchy' Link

Police forces in the inner cities are so short-staffed they are barely able to control the "anarchy" on the streets, according to the head of the Police Federation.

Chairman Fred Broughton will call on Home Secretary Jack Straw for a Royal Commission to look into the future of policing.

The Federation, which represents rank and file officers in England and Wales, says the police service is at its lowest ebb in recent memory.

Mr Broughton, speaking on the eve of the Federation's annual conference, said the public was losing confidence in the police while funding was in complete disarray.

He said 90 police stations had closed down in the last 18 months.

He also claimed that forces in London, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester were so short of officers that they were unable to control what he described as they the anarchy on the streets late at night.

"There is a sense of disorder, and anarchy in many of these areas," Mr Broughton said.

"Most people would avoid these hot spots altogether as there are no police officers to turn to."

No-go areas

He highlighted areas outside pubs and nightclubs between 2200BST and 0200BST which had become no-go areas for many people.

Mr Broughton said the time had come for a review of policing including an examination of the structure of forces, of police training and the merits of patrolling.

He said a Royal Commission would be able to examine the future role of policing in a balanced and non-partisan way.

He also said that crime-busting schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch and special constables could not replace effective policing.

"The truth is that all these alternatives have failed," he said.

"We are seeing communities with no policing at all."

Mr Straw and Tory Leader William Hague will be among a host of high profile figures to join hundreds of police officers from around the country at the Police Federation conference in Brighton over the next four days.

Dave French, chairman of the constables section of the Police Federation, will tell delegates on Tuesday of poor management in the force, dwindling resources and the "haemorrhaging of good officers on a daily basis faster than the drip feed of new recruits can replace them".

Other debates at the conference will cover issues such as sex offenders, liquor licensing powers and driving on drugs.

Mr Straw is due to make an address on Wednesday and is expected to criticise politicians who snipe at the police.

On Thursday Mr Hague will pressure the government to abolish the legal principle of double jeopardy and allow people to be tried twice for the same crime.

The proposal has been condemned as "knee-jerk headline seeking" by Home Office Minister Paul Boateng.


I wonder what honest citizens will use to protect/defend themselves? Now that The Netherlands is banning knives, England will probably try that too. Too bad criminals don't worry about weapons laws.

After Winston Churchill's famous "We'll Fight Them On The Beaches, etc., etc. speech, it was rumored that after they turned off the microphone he said to those present "what'll we fight them with, beer bottles?" Even back then England had gun control, so most of the population didn't even know how to shoot, let alone own weapons!

-- Flash (flash@flash.hq), May 17, 2000


From what I can remember nobody in the UK has a constitutional right to carry arms.That was always the gift of the Monarch now aka the Government.If you want to own a gun you need a gun license and that is not automatically granted.

As for protecting oneself....we have got a 120lb Anatolian.He can run at 30mph & has jaws like a steel trap. Amazing how many people are afraid of a large dog !!!

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), May 17, 2000.


That's the difference between being "subjects" of the Crown and "citizens" of a republic, which is what the U.S.A. is supposed to be.

Where you you live, and how is crime in your area?

-- Flash (flash@flash.com), May 17, 2000.

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