I’ve mentioned budget cuts in previous posts, but this time it’s serious – last week we were told that Monkeytown HTCU is going to be losing two members of staff in an attempt to slash 15% from the budget. This is the first in a long tsunami of cuts that are to save 25% over 4 years, leaving us scrabbling in the dirt like survivors of a nuclear war. The whole public sector is being similarly decimated and few places are going to be left untouched.
The only glow of warmth in this blasted landscape is that the financial sector that caused this global economic calamity seems to be back to normal and wallowing in bonuses again, after we bailed them out at the expense of our own security and that of our children. This causes a huge sense of relief to wash over me. No, really it does. I know I’m grinding my teeth and stabbing a KA-BAR knife into the table, but I really am relieved. I mean, we’ll need those same people who brought us to collapse, so they can repeat it all again in the future – thanks to the crash, the financially secure public sector worker of yesterday is now the unemployed sub-prime borrower of tomorrow, and someone’s going to have to lend them money irresponsibly to get the housing market back up to its pre-crash levels of unaffordable insanity.
And…breathe. No one like a ranty socialist monkey.
We’re quite innovative buggers in Monkeytown HTCU, as I think a lot of our breed are, and we’ve already started coming up with ways we can cut back. This wave of cuts is going to be bigger than just forgoing that new laptop though; according to senior sources, the whole face of policing is going to have changed by 2014, as services are stripped down to core functions. Along with a few articles I’ve read recently, this got me thinking about a way we can potentially streamline the whole prosecution process. Let me explain.
There seems to be a fashion for self-regulation at the moment, presumably following its outstanding success in the financial sector. We’ve got the Vatican furiously insisting that it still be allowed to self-police its paedophiles, while Tesco apparently use their own health inspectors and are able to refuse entry to those from the local council (y’know, the ones who might have a bit of objectivity). To top it all, I was reading this morning that the new health minster wants to allow junk food corporations to be able to regulate their own sales of junk food to children. Call me cynical, but won’t that board meeting go something like “Votes for selling fewer crisps? Votes for selling more crisps? OK, more crisps it is then!”? I’m in favour of reducing the state’s impact on the lives of individuals, but a corporation is not an individual. Nuff said.
Anyway, here’s my idea. At the moment, we spend a fortune chasing criminals in the same way that the police have always done: A crime is committed, the police show up and try to identify the offender, then build a case against him. It’s all a bit reactive, isn’t it?Furthermore, it’s placing the burden of work on the side of the police, who as we all know by now are in deep financial poo.
If we introduce a bit of self-regulation and self-assessment to the process, we’d be able to save millions. Take paedophiles for example. At the moment, a couple of times a week 4 or 5 elite cops from Monkeytown’s Nonceophile Squad have to get up early and, accompanied by helicopters, dogs, violent-entry abseiling SAS ninjas and flamethrowers, execute warrants for indecent images. Naturally, this follows weeks of painstaking intelligence work. This is all very wasteful – wouldn’t it be better to place the onus of prosecution onto the offender himself? We could start by sending out a letter instead of executing a warrant:
Dear Mr Harry Palms, You have been selected by Monkeytown Constabulary to be subjected to a self-search warrant for suspected MAKING INDECENT IMAGES OF CHILDREN. This is due to your email address being sent 20,000 nasty images by a bloke in Scotland. Under section 4 of the Shit We've Got No Money Act 2010, you are now bound to perform the following tasks:
- Sit in your underpants on the sofa for a while, seriously regretting camming with that loud-mouthed tosser on Yahoo Messenger
- Perform a comprehensive search of your house and bag up all computers, phones and related media. See Assistance Sheet D for a guide to producing exhibits. Please don't smash any hard drives up or dispose of anything.
- Report to your local police station for self-processing, including a preliminary interview with yourself. Leave a DNA sample in the pot provided (no, not that kind of sample you dirty boy).
- Following this, please bail yourself for 3 months.
- During your bail period, please count and categorise all of your images. The R v Oliver guidelines are included in Assistance Sheet F.
- Upon completion of this, please contact Monkeytown CPS to deliver your file.
I think this is a potential winner. In fact it needn’t be limited to paedo jobs, but could encompass a lot of white-collar crime. Self-assessment letters could be sent to everyone in the force area, asking them to fill in the details of any offences they’ve committed in the last 12 months along with earnings, details of victims, and anything else they’d like taken into consideration.
This would be like tax self-assessment, and Proceeds of Crime Act deductions would become like another form of taxation. Naturally there’d need to be a warning at the bottom of the form that ‘failure to complete the form correctly may result in a penalty’, but I think that this whole scheme would encourage a new era of honesty, and save a hell of a lot of money.
Anyone else got ideas for beating the cuts? Comment me up, daddyo!