This is an exchange on live journal between a couple Brits. One being an expat on his feelings of civil war/ unrest and how likely it is. I find it very telling how it actually is right now across the pond. violence IS rampant and there is almost no accountability for any of it.
2007-03-02 12:11 pm UTC
The latest problems we had were because of two days of snow. Traffic on one of the main roads out of Cardiff had slowed to a stop which was a bad thing for people stuck in this area. Gangs of youths were opening car doors, pelting people inside with snowballs and stealing sat navs and anything else they could grab. They even pelted a six month old child. Some people got out to yell at them and were attacked. There were fights in the store I work at. Luckily I was off sick with the flu. Well on the second day of this the police turned up. They were pelted with snowballs too and eventually they baton charged the crowd to try and disperse them. They arrested several people but didn't watch their backs and one of the guys snuck around and opened the riot van and they all escaped. Not a good day for the police. The police are losing in a very real way and everyone can see it. Even when they do make an arrest the Crown Prosecution Service lets them off again. Illustrated very nicely by that latest fiasco where a government memo was leaked ordering the CPS to only jail the worst persistent offenders as there is no more room in the prison system. That's just one of the things that seems to be at breaking point. The NHS and the ambulance service specifically can't cope. In the last fortnight there have been headlines because a man died after phoning for an ambulance nine times. Fire and police chiefs have hit out because they have been called out to respond because no ambulances were available. The worst so far was that South Wales was left without ambulance cover for a whole hour one night.Things aren't looking all that good. It's not civil war but I bought an extra case of water yesterday now that you've got me thinking about it.
2007-03-02 12:44 pm UTC
Interesting info. That's the sort of crap that can lead to outbreaks of violence, which leads to more violence, which leads to the police unable to contain it.In fact I am a little surprised that vigilante groups haven't sprung up yet in some areas. I guess, because most folks aren't allowed to carry anything more than a wallet any more, there is little one can do other than 'jump up and down and distract the criminal until the police arrive'.As for the British police - I know there are some good ones; an old friend of mine from school is a traffic officer in the Avon & Somerset force, but as a group I think they and the CPS are piss poor excuses for 'service to the tax payer'.Maybe if they weren't so focused on prosecuting people for stupid crap like defending themselves, or having chemicals that they might be able to make bombs with, under their sink, there would be more space in prison.
2007-04-04 05:46 pm UTC
Do you think that the lack of guns in the UK (on the side of the citizens and the police) has made criminals braver, and more apt to do stupid things?
2007-04-04 06:18 pm UTC
I think they lack any fear of consequences. There have been many cases, especially lately, of someone standing up to a mob and being beaten down and even killed, so no one really wants to stand up to them. The average person doesn't just fear violence but legal repercussions. If you act against a criminal the common belief is that you will be prosecuted and sued. This is in fact true, even if you act to legally defend yourself and are acquitted you can still be sued. The police are also understaffed, severely limited in what they can do and completely unsupported by the crown prosecution service. There was a bit of a scandal of late when it turned out the government had instructed them to only imprison the worst violent repeat offenders to lower prison populations. Criminals know this so there is a general feeling that even if you are caught you will be freed with a token punishment or fine.All this combined makes people who are prone to violent or criminal behaviour very bold. It's not just the lack of guns but the culture that puts money and the rights of criminals ahead of the safety, freedom and welfare of the law abiding.