Casualties in the War on Anti-Social Behavior

Via OxBlog, Tony Blair cracks the whip, and the yobs fall right into line:

Angered by his unruly, boozed-up behaviour, police had hoped magistrates would punish the youth for breaching his [Anti-Social Behavior Order]. He hadn't.

Closer examination revealed that he had mistakenly been ordered not to be in public "without" alcohol and that he was also duty bound to act in a threatening manner likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to others.

They let him off.

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    *laughs*

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    How can I get on this list?

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    Is that the Thursday fun link?

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    No respectable yob would be seen in public without alcohol anyway.

  • Jeff||

    At this point Bizarro walked into the bar and said "ME NO WANT BEER!"

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    A little proofreading never hurt anybody.

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    Check out the BBC website's Asbowatch for more Asbo related laughs.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4743357.stm

  • IO ERROR||

    And the original Mirror article on this teenager has a little more detail.

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    I'm curious. Isn't it already illegal for a fifteen year-old to possess alcohol? It is most places; not just prudish old USofA. And isn't "act[ing] in a threatening manner likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to others" alos pretty much covered by assault and god only knows how many other laws?

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    What would be libertarian position on the old fashioned strategy of having cops smack louts upside the head when they need it, and lie about it in court if the little shit complains?

    If policing is done right, the cops know exactly who needs to be smacked upside the head, and when - and they know that this correlates closely with whose ass kicking passersby will say "I didn't see nuffin" about.

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    What would be libertarian position on the old fashioned strategy of having cops smack louts upside the head when they need it, and lie about it in court if the little shit complains?

    I dunno, Joe; what do you think it would be?

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    ...If policing is done right...

    Do you know of any large (more than 50,000 people) cities where that's happening, joe?

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    What would be libertarian position on the old fashioned strategy of having cops smack louts upside the head when they need it, and lie about it in court if the little shit complains?

    My position would be that cops smacking around 15-year-olds and lying about it would be the darker side of the "community policing" ideal.

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    Jennifer,

    I suspect most libertarians, who are far more concerned about the formal regulations on the books than the actual experience of people in the real world, would think it a great advance for personal freedom if such practices were ended, and the cops compelled to either cuff, stuff, and Mirandize each person they encounter acting up, or do nothing.

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    Now, now, Eric, what's wrong with giving a government official (who's also one of the few people authorized to carry a gun in Merrie Englande) carte blanche to decide who deserves a smack (or seven shots) in the head?

    Heh heh heh.

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    Isaac, in the UK, alcohol can be consumed with parental consent at home from age 5. Beer or hard cider may be purchased and consumed with a meal in restaurants at age 16, but you have to be 18 to carry it out.

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    I suspect most libertarians, who are far more concerned about the formal regulations on the books than the actual experience of people in the real world

    THIS from the planner who insists that things like private-developer ED are really spiffy, and the actual real-world experiences we read about are mere "scare stories?" Holy shit.

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    ...in the UK, alcohol can be consumed with parental consent at home from age 5...

    Thanks for that info. I did not know that altho I am not surprized. The British have a way of being so sensible and yet so silly; but I guess you could say that of everybody, almost.

    Still I doubt that he had his parents consent to be drinking in public and "act[ing] in a threatening manner likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to others".

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    "most libertarians...[who] are far more concerned about ...formal regulations...than...actual experience...would think it a great advance for personal freedom if such practices were ended"

    Joe, considering you ID yourself as an "ACLU-sympathizing...liberal", doesn't it strike you that that's the very sort of line law und order types use to dismiss pretty much any civil libertarian concern? And, are you seriously saying it was/is/would be a good thing for cops to beat up kids for behaving obnoxiously if they're not doing something arrest-worthy?

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    No, Eric, the "law and order types" generally want everything to be a formal crime, with a zero tolerance policy and stiff mandatory minimums.

    And in the right circumstances, with the right cop who has the right relationship to the community, yes, I do.

    I have an uncle whose discipline policy was to ignore my cousin's behavior for as long as possible, then when he did something that couldn't be ignored, to beat the living snot out of him. Then go back to ignoring anything short of that. Terrible, terrible policy.

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    I'm pretty sure he was afoul of UK alcohol laws, even if they are more liberal than those in the US. I think Belgium and Austria are the only two western European countries with a minimum drinking age of 15. Most of the others are 16 or 18.

    And your point is well taken, if what's he's doing is already illegal, what's the point of the ASBO.

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    Can they bust you for farting on elevators and pissing on the seat?

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    Eric, look at it this way: I think a lot of things that are formally arrest worthy - the type of things that "broken windows" policing says should follow a kid around for the rest of his life - would be better dealt with informally.

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    No, Eric, the "law and order types" generally want everything to be a formal crime, with a zero tolerance policy and stiff mandatory minimums.

    I don't mean the zero-tolerance crew, I mean the sorts who cheerfully presume the guy had it coming whenever whenever they hear about a beating or shooting by police.

    And in the right circumstances, with the right cop who has the right relationship to the community, yes, I do.

    I've known and liked cops, but I can't regard that as anything but an insanely trusting point of view.

    I have an uncle whose discipline policy was to ignore my cousin's behavior for as long as possible, then when he did something that couldn't be ignored, to beat the living snot out of him. Then go back to ignoring anything short of that. Terrible, terrible policy.

    What on earth is wrong with warning and citations or just dragging the kid home to his parents that it would be better for cops to just beat up 15-year-olds for comitting minor crimes?

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    joe,

    I'm for it the day every cop is Sean Connery in the Untouchables. It will only work with Irish accents.

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    Eric, look at it this way: I think a lot of things that are formally arrest worthy - the type of things that "broken windows" policing says should follow a kid around for the rest of his life - would be better dealt with informally.

    This may depend on state law, but IIRC, misdemeanor convictions by minors in Texas are sealed once they reach 18. I'll check on that...

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    Eric,

    "I don't mean the zero-tolerance crew, I mean the sorts who cheerfully presume the guy had it coming whenever whenever they hear about a beating or shooting by police."

    Here's my deal: if the people in Simi Valley are happy that a cop who lives in Glenndale beat up a kid in South LA, while his neighbors are pissed at the police, that's probably not ok.

    If the kids neighbors say the kid had it coming and - and this is the important part - the cop knew that the neighbors would say he had it coming, because he knows the kid, and he knows the neighbors, then it's probably the right thing to do.

    And yes, I'm all for cops dragging kids home by the scruff of the neck, too. The ones who the cop knows are best dealt with that way. Of course, that only works when the cop knows that Mom's reaction is going to be, "Get the hell in the house, I'm going to kick your ass" rather than "Get your hands off my son, you racist!"

    And let's clear something up - I'm not talking about beating someone down like Rodney King. I'm talking about a little rough handling that won't put anyone in the emergency room.

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    If the kids neighbors say the kid had it coming and - and this is the important part - the cop knew that the neighbors would say he had it coming, because he knows the kid, and he knows the neighbors, then it's probably the right thing to do.

    I think the days of police actually knowing their neighborhoods (as in, actually walking a beat, and interacting with people other than perps and victims) are long gone; crime is too high, budgets are too tight. Furthermore, based on the law enforcement types I know, I don't trust them to make such a judgement.

    And let's clear something up - I'm not talking about beating someone down like Rodney King. I'm talking about a little rough handling that won't put anyone in the emergency room.

    Again, where's the line? And what happens when they cross it? That's how we got to where we are now.

    Grummun

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    If the kids neighbors say the kid had it coming and - and this is the important part - the cop knew that the neighbors would say he had it coming, because he knows the kid, and he knows the neighbors, then it's probably the right thing to do.

    My problem is I keep thinking of the kid who moved to Simi Valley from South LA (or, more likely, the goth kid / gay kid / racial minority kid / anti-war protestor) who gets a little discretionary "rough handling" from cop in a community that's willing to assume the kid had it coming for no reason other than dislike.

    It just sounds too much like some of the arguments for anarchism("if someone rapes/murders/spits tobacco, his neighbors will string him up, so you won't see rapes/murders/tobacco-spitting") that I've never bought.

    And let's clear something up - I'm not talking about beating someone down like Rodney King. I'm talking about a little rough handling that won't put anyone in the emergency room.

    I don't see how winking at the latter will do anything but encourage the former. It's not like suspects only started getting beaten to a pulp after people started getting concerned about the handling of suspects' rights.

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    I am increasingly convinced that Joe is a very sophisticated troll.

    Either that or, frustrated by the fact that "experts" like him do not get to run the world and tell the hoi polloi what to do, he defers to and supports the "expert" in every field, like cops who would never, ever abuse a tacit "teach the punks a lesson" policy.

    I like the sophisticated troll idea better because then he displays a clever, if obnoxious, ability to annoy people. Otherwise, he's just the victim of left-wing, technocratic, utopian fantasies and to be such a victim, well, it's sad.

    Free Markets, Free Labor

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    I suspect most libertarians, who are far more concerned about the formal regulations on the books than the actual experience of people in the real world

    I suspect joe knows a different class of libertarians than I do.

    I guess this means Jennifer is to blame.

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    Grumman, the best, most effective police departments in the country are working very hard to bring those days back. You can usually recognize them by finding the cities that saw large drops in crime, and substantial improvements in opinions of the police among the public, at the same time.

    Eric,

    "I don't see how winking at the latter will do anything but encourage the former. It's not like suspects only started getting beaten to a pulp after people started getting concerned about the handling of suspects' rights." If the only oversight is by the police themselves, you are right. The key would be to have a strong feedback loop from the public to the police, so that the commanders both hear what the public has to say about the practices of each cop, and is held responsible for how the public perceives his officers' behavior.

    I recognize the problem you point out with kids who get singled out, but I don't think the move away from the old fashioned system I'm talking about has helped any. If anything, making the police more answerable to the community, rather than to top-down regulations and unaccountable superiors, would reduce the tendency of the police to look at the people in their patrol area that way.

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    If the only oversight is by the police themselves, you are right.

    Well, if we're talking about cops smacking people on the head and lying about it in court, that's pretty much it.

    The feedback loop you talk about describes cooperation between community and cops to handle things like loutish kids - but you describe beating on the kids as what the cops do when they're not geting cooperation in handling the kids in a legal manner. That sounds to me like a breakdown of that cooperation, and at that point the community has no check to employ - even if they want to. Cops will band together and support each others' stories.

    I just can't fathom tolerating cops doing this sort of thing. There's too much of the "drive fast and carry a gun" style out there in the first place, and this could only encourage it further.

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