Horst D. Deckert

British Police Told Not to Arrest Criminals


Prisons are so full that officers are being ordered to pause so-called “non-priority arrests.”

Police chiefs are being told to make fewer arrests because of a lack of prison space—yet another blow to the Conservative Party’s claim to be ‘tough on crime,’ just as talk is heating up (again) about an imminent general election.

The plans are bound to benefit what politicians euphemistically call ‘low-level’ criminals, who nonetheless do significant harm to law-abiding citizens and damage businesses, especially small, struggling enterprises.

Despite Conservative politicians releasing some prisoners early, there are still just 1,000 spaces currently available in British prisons, some of which are in such a sorry state that regulators say they ought to be shut down.

Because of this, an internal document drawn up by the National Police Chiefs’ Council has told police constables to pause so-called “non-priority arrests” and to suspend operations that may result in “large numbers of arrests.”

The memo, seen by The Times, does not disclose the kind of offences or operations which officers should ignore. Police have already spent years not arresting those caught in possession of cannabis and other ‘low-level’ drugs, knowing that the courts wouldn’t pursue such cases anyway. Now others will be let off the hook too.

The Daily Telegraph reports that constables have also been warned that a package of emergency measures introduced by the government “risks public safety,” and that the current crisis might further restrict the ability of officers to respond even to urgent calls.

A separate memo to British justices says that prison overcrowding could result in the temporary closure of courts, which would not be able to order convicted criminals into cells anyway.

These recommendations, which effectively bow to the emboldened criminal elements of society, could be dubbed the ‘San Francisco-isation’ of Britain after officers in the crime-ridden Californian city have said they ignore some ‘low level’ crimes because the district attorney is “pro-criminal and [is] not going to enforce the law.”

Labour has grasped this news enthusiastically as yet another opportunity to bash the Tories, but few seriously believe that Sir Keir Starmer’s team will do anything to improve the situation.

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