Let me state from the very beginning that I do not in any way, shape or form support any person or self-appointed group undertaking local law enforcement and punishment.
Any such person or group seeking to investigate, apprehend and punish any person or persons they suspect of any crime in unlawful.
My concern and it is a very real concern is that if the cuts in police numbers continue unabated then people will lose faith in our system of law, order and justice and vigilantism will flourish. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw a police officer either walking the beat or driving around without the cars blue light flashing. Officers’ responding to routine incidents of yesteryear just doesn’t seem to happen anymore. The only incidents that are guaranteed to achieve a police response are genuine 999 calls. Crimes are reported over the telephone with no investigation by an officer attended and making local enquires. Homeowners are reporting burglaries solely for a crime book number to quote on their insurance claim and many minor crimes just aren’t reported.
Requesting a police officer to a dispute or disturbance is often met with the response that there just aren’t any officers free to attend. So, what can decent hard working people do about yobs, drunks or vandals disturbing the peace and harmony of our lives? Time was a call to the local police station would result in the attendance of officers, but alas those days seem to be gone. Do we just accept that anti-social behaviour by some is part of our lives and ignore it? Trouble is if ignored it could easily get worse, so what do we do?
If the government does not address the issue of police numbers soon and act decisively we are going to see vigilantism and once that starts, we as a country on a slippery slope.