Friday, October 29, 2004

Law enforcement and time factors

The gentleman at Free Market Fairy Tales has a post about the time required for police to arrive in many parts of Britain, and details of a really bad situation in which the police took more than an hour to enter a house where a shooting had occured; and this with someone inside calling for help and telling them the bad guy had left. The ambulance people didn't get in for about 1.5 hours.

These weren't bobbies with nightsticks, these were armed officers, but "Thames Valley police refused to allow their own officers or paramedics anywhere near the crime scene for over an hour , while they carried out a risk assessment of the area in order to "safeguard any members of the public who could be at risk, as well as officers & other emergency service personnel at the scene."

This reminds me of the mess at Colombine after the cops arrived. Multiple SWAT teams, tactical teams, whatever. All with heavy body armor, arms from sidearms to submachine guns to rifles, and after one attempt to enter the school- they got shot at, surprise surprise- they stayed outside making plans until it was over. From the information, some people died while they were making plans.

People, I've been around law enforcement a bit. I know they want to go home just as bad as everyone else at the end of the day, and good info as to what's going on is priceless. But if you take all that extra training and equipment, and refuse to act because you don't know everything and won't go in until you do, you're useless. And people die because of it.

Britain is even worse for most people. You are supposed to call the law and wait. If the bad guys come in and you fight them, you stand a fair chance of going to jail because you did. And God forbid you kill your attacker, because you are screwed. And if the police get there too late? Too bad, sorry 'bout that, now stop griping about it.

Not a good way to run a railroad.

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