It is claimed that two thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the known world free of the fear of attack, protected only by the words 'Civis Romanus Sum' translated as 'I am a Roman citizen', as all understood that the Roman state would punish any who harmed its citizens with unfailing retribution.
Of course one should not use the Romans as a model of how to behave, as they were notoriously hypocritical, in that they called their opponents barbarians, while they themselves maimed, blinded, castrated and enslaved populations who tried to defy them, committed genocide in Gaul, and elsewhere, and applied bestial punishments such as crucifixion and burning. The one lesson one can draw from the their claimed success in enforcing their laws is that deterrence works, not always, and everywhere, but generally.
The idea that the punishment should fit the crime, as espoused by Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, receives little support from modern criminologists, yet is largely supported by the victims, who see pathetically soft penal policies enabling vicious felons to escape any sort of meaningful justice. I am old enough to remember when criminals would, before setting out some nefarious enterprise, search each other for deadly weapons, as they knew that, should one of their number kill, they would all hang.
Thanks to the dominance of liberal ideas over recent decades we now live in a society where murders, rapists and violent thugs have been given punishments which neither deter, nor represent any sort of justified retribution, ignoring the pain of those who suffered at their hands. Politicians of all parties are guilty of perpetuating this state of affairs, claiming the moral high ground by expressing concern for the human rights of the offenders, while ignoring those of their victims, and of those who will suffer in the future. My sympathies, and I have no doubt those of the vast majority of ordinary people, lie with the baby girl murdered, or starved to death, by those who should be taking care of her, the woman attacked and raped when walking down the street, the spouse who suffers domestic abuse, the youngsters stabbed to death near their homes by those who carry knives as a macho statement, the people assaulted because of the colour of their skin and every innocent who deserves the protection of the law, but sees lawyers, psychiatrists and the like doing all they can to excuse the thugs, and prevent them receiving the punishments they richly deserve.
Having left the EU we could reinstate capital punishment for murder, while the absurd policy of releasing offenders when they have completed half of their sentences should be ended. Rather than reductions due to good behaviour, if inmates are guilty of bad behaviour the sentences should be increased, although no doubt so called progressives would have a fit of the vapours at the thought. These latter always claim that execution is not a deterrent, a ridiculous assertion, but even were it to be true, it is also a justified retribution for the heinous crime committed.
Now we are faced with a further failure in the enforcement of justice in that the police force is increasingly falling under the sway of those who clearly see their function as running a Thought Police, rather than a body whose aim is to deal with real crime. Senior officers encourage the persecution of people who are doing no more than exercise their right to free speech, characterising expressions of opinion as 'hate' crimes, while pandering to paranoid, and politically motivated, enemies of democracy, who take constantly offence where none is intended. There is no justification for encouraging those who seek to inflame any sort of hatred against minorities, but such incidents now form a small part of the cases raised by those whom seek to suppress free speech.
Two principles which are totally ignored by the high priests of political correctness are that allegations are proof of nothing, while one is innocent until proven guilty. A former police officer, is taking Humberside Police to court over reported 'hate incidents', as he was previously told by Humberside Police that he had been reported for hate speech because of tweets that were anonymously reported as 'offensive' and 'transphobic'. Despite being told he had committed no crime, a policeman told him he needed "to check your thinking". His record now clearly states that he has committed a 'non-crime' 'hate incident'. The problem is, if something is perceived as hateful, it is recorded as hateful. No evidence is needed. There is nothing you can do to change its status, and it remains on your record permanently. 1984's O'Brien would be proud!
I have known many police officers, both personally, and in my time playing for my various sports clubs, at golf, tennis, squash or latterly bowls against their teams, and I also know how many are disgusted by the way in which the force has been politicised, its objective no longer being to fight real crime. The ordinary courageous policemen, and women, daily put their lives on the line to deal with the Marxist mobs of Stop the War, Extinction Rebellion, BLM etc., while facing criminals carrying guns, who are no longer afraid to use them. They are being betrayed by the liberal leaders now dominating the force. The days when every policeman had to perform a spell of beat duty, and were not required to pursue academic qualifications, rather than learn on the job, have gone, and politically trained automatons are preferred to real coppers.
In a letter published in the national press in 2018 one ex policeman reported "I served in the Met in the Seventies, and would report for night duty at Kings Cross. As well as constables in panda cars, a van to collect the drunks, an area car for emergency calls, and pursuits, officers would be assigned a beat to patrol on foot. If a break-in or damage was reported the next day from your beat, you had a lot of explaining to do. No wonder the crime rate is soaring with no coppers on the streets looking for crime, instead of waiting for it to happen. Where's our thin blue line gone?".
We want officers visible on our streets, not sitting in front of computers pursuing those who dare to hold a different opinion to metropolitan elitists. I remember when bobbies would stop cyclists riding on pavements, as well as panda cars stopping those with non functioning car exhausts. As was discovered in New York, if decent behaviour is enforced in even small things, beneficial effects will be felt throughout society.
When the state tells the people that they cannot respond to attacks, but must leave it to the organs of the law, then it is in effect agreeing to a contract that the state itself will take effective action against the lawbreakers. If it constantly refuses to do so then it is hardly surprising that people hold it in contempt. Respect for the law is essential if it is to be obeyed.
It is well past time for soft laws, inadequate sentences, politicised police, slippery lawyers and appeasing politicians to be consigned to the dustbin of history.