Not Locking People Away. The History and Implications.

We are very slow on the uptake as a society in the UK.  This is hardly surprising, as our education system is failing and is not about producing informed citizens.  Like most of our institutions, it has been taken over by an elite few who pay themselves very well and mouth what politicians want to hear.  Teaching integrity is now long replaced by audits that suit the fatal nexus of  of high-paid managers and politicians.  This is true across our public sector, banking, charities and the private sector.  We have millennial faith in these ‘great and good’, who fiddle expenses, set each other’s pay, and can’t be motivated without bonuses most won’t earn in a lifetime or a lottery win.

Stanley Cohen wrote about the many religiously held idiocies that form basic assumptions in decarcerating society in ‘The punitive city: notes on the dispersal of social control’ (Contemporary Crises: 1979, 3(4): 341-63) more than 30 years ago.  Many countries closed down prisons, asylums and reformatories.  Just as traditional community had collapsed, we became addicted to using it to do all the disciplinary work.  The assumptions involved are frankly pathetic and expose our most vulnerable to the mad, criminal and bullying.  Our public debate has moved nowhere since Cohen, and most remain trapped in ignorance.  The term ‘community’ has lost all meaning as other than ‘not locking up’ or ‘isolating’ offenders and those seriously off-the-rails.  None can define it.

Frankly ‘we’ don’t care and would rather be distracted into vital stories about a woman with breast implants breaking up with her one time lover.  We vote on ‘the economy’ with no clue as to what that might be.  The current cuts in the UK public sector were well known before our election, but all parties remained quiet on them for fear of asking turkeys to vote for Xmas.

A look back in history (is this possible in a society that thinks 1066 was just a blip in result of our long-term national pastime of war with the French and may still believe Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 53 BC?) shows the emergence of our legal system from blood money payments (bots and wers), through public hangings, torture, the lash, incarceration and quite terrifying discipline.  The problem of criminality is not new and has always been linked (Robin Hood,the odious flower tributes to Moat) to rebellion, as our State was not democratic and remains not in many ways.  We tell history in heroics and reap the whirlwind of this.  ‘We’ do not even understand how what democracy and freedoms we have were established, or by whom.

I can cite many academic papers and books and don’t feel they are entirely irrelevant; but they are no good until be can become more knowledgeable. Most of what ‘we’ think of as intelligent debate has already been done.  The metaphor I propose is that of an environmentally irresponsible corporation,killing indigenous peoples in order not to incur costs in production.  Our legal system is doing this and our economic system is doing this in terms of blighting the lives of those it can safely ignore to save costs.  We have no intention of locking Moats away, let alone acting at preventative levels to stop their wider blight of lives.

Tyranny uses all kinds of discipline and it is usually very obvious.  Show trials, maybe incarcerating 10% of the population overnight, torture, abductions, ‘disappearing’ and returns to Year Zero – what is it we fear our so-called and partly real democracies might be doing instead?  The Soviets used to claim it was hidden deep in our advertising, fetish for detective novels, Orwell in News and Doublespeak.  I can say for sure, that if the terror of the scrote descends next door, the State will do little to help and make matters worse by pretending to do something to the public at large, sure your problem will not raise interest until you are dead.  Inspector Gadget has been maintaining recently that police both knew what an animal Moat was, and that the prison warnings about him were so routine it was reasonable to do nothing.  The threat of scrote next door and authorities incapable of doing anything to remove them is, of course, highly disciplinary on the rest of us.  We work in order to try to ensure it can’t happen to us and to buy houses where our children won’t play with theirs.

Lots of dross is spoken on not taking offenders away from their families, yet these are often criminal or deeply troubled families.  The kind who floral trophy litter for Moat.  I used to see kids escaping the criminal phase and settling down.  This has become far more difficult, and I suspect much of the reason is we now have to apply for jobs rather than walk into them and out of them.


15 thoughts on “Not Locking People Away. The History and Implications.

  1. “Lots of dross is spoken on not taking offenders away from their families, yet these are often criminal or deeply troubled families. “

    The judiciary don’t do anyone any favours. Take this story.

    Now, if he didn’t deserve a(nother) spell in jail, who on earth does?

    The judge, of course, lives nowhere near him.

  2. The last line is more or less all Julia. The truth is that a vast array of worthies are ripping off our taxes without doing anything about the problems other than maintaining them so they can always get another bite. It reminds me of how a protection racket works. Any cure would put the ‘protector’ out of business.

  3. There was a report recently in the Daily Mail about Moat’s treatment of his former girlfriend and mother of two of his kids. He beat her up, lashed her with a belt, tied her to the bed and raped her. It was reported that police pleaded with her to get Moat to court and charged with the assaults, but she was far too frightened of him.

    Yes, police knew what Moat was like, and the warnings issued by the prison to police really should have been acted upon. They could have used section 136 on him.
    That is what it is supposed to be for, to protect the public from people who are dangerous and violent.

    The man who Julia mentions should also have been sectioned using 136.

    However, I noticed on another police blog a few years ago that section 136 was actually used as a threat against someone who was spilling the beans about serious abuses of power. Telling a few home truths on a blog in a non violent and non threatening manner! Ironic…..

    I’m not convinced by any police argument [IG] that it was justified to ignore the prison’s warnings about Moat.
    I wonder what PC Dave Rathband feels about that.

    I read Samantha Stobbart’s account of what happened to her and Chris Brown, and it was horrific. It will no doubt take her a long time to get over the trauma of it.
    Her mother was incredibly brave to confront Moat after her had killed Chris Brown in cold blood and then shot Samantha. Moat had the gun at Samantha’s mother’s head until the stepdad arrived and Moat fled the scene.

    The facebook “tribute” to Moat the Monster was/is an insult to Chris Brown, PC Dave Rathband and Samantha.

  4. The key thing on Moat is that there has been no obvious media interest in the wider extent of the problem. IG is at his worst (forgivably perhaps) when he defends his own. Cops hear all kinds of threats being made – many were made against my life. They mostly come to nothing. Amongst the dross the real thing is difficult to establish. IG merely points out the bleeding obvious. What I suspect is that many Moats are around making other people’s lives a misery over extended periods. I suspect police really know this and also that the easy route for them is to leave it all alone, blame people for not coming forward when they offer no protection (and worse, actually put victims in harm’s way) and a dire attitude. Weirdly, the likes of Moat are involved on ‘protecting people’ – there is an active punishment beating regime around for people who are’out of line’ in some areas.
    My guess is that cops don’t pay much attention to people who have little power and cover up their blundering as a matter of routine with a set of easy excuses. This is backed up by a chronic complaints system.

  5. Perhaps the media are waiting for the results of investigations and the IPCC report on the case of Moat.
    His family have just had a 2nd post mortem conducted because they are not happy with police accounts and believe there is some sort of cover up going on there.

    The media have reported on the progress of PC Dave Rathband, so he at least has not been forgotten by them.

    I haven’t looked at IG’s blog recently, because I just have not had the time to sit and read through all the comments, usually rather a lot of them.
    It is understandable and normal that cops would show loyalty and support towards each other, but someone made a mistake and PC Dave Rathband was shot and blinded as a result. He could have been killed, like Chris Brown.

    Is it forgivable though, when cops turn on their own and place them in harms way? Dire attitudes indeed! They should be able to take a bit of friendly criticism though.

    But is it such a chronic complaints system? There are plenty of comments on unofficial police blogs which state that PSD can be very thorough and quite harsh with cops if there is a complaint against them. A few have spoken about the stress involved in a PSD/IPCC investigation.
    I am aware of at least one chief constable who was given a very hard time by the press and a complaint against him that ended up in the complaints system, and an eventual embarrassing dressing down by the Police Authority.

    Personally, I think it’s much better if people try to sort out any “issues” or gripes if they can, without having to go down the official complaints route.

  6. Those who have tried informally through local resolution have been utterly disappointed. You do tend to work from your own wishes rather than a wider look at what others experience. One IPCC officer told me he was seeing decent cops sacked for mouthing ‘black bastard’ and being told to back off where he thought cops may have been involved in an execution. I have found no one satisfied with the complaints system and many who would not have complained if any realistic mediation had been entered into. This was the finding of PALG and INQUEST.

  7. You tell a very sorry tale Champ and I appreciate your honesty in telling it how it is. I guess my “specs” can be a bit rose coloured as I really do try to see the best in people, and to look on the brighter side.

    What you say here about cops being dismissed for a bit of verbal and yet are left alone for a very serious matter, is quite frankly a disgrace. The whole system is upside down in that minor offences and easy targets get all the attention, whilst very serious cases are ignored. This appears to have been going on within Social Services Child Protection too.

    This is very depressing, but chin up and avoid the booze!

  8. I hope that you have not collapsed due to being drunk!

    If the collapse is from the sheer exhaustion of work and trying to change a system which appears to be clogged up and stuck in a tar pit, you have my sympathy. Me too.

    Perhaps taking time out from the stresses and strains, to actually smell the roses, would change some situations for the better.

    I know that it’s usually a girl thing, but the essential oil of rose [quite expensive] really does help to lift feelings of depression.

    But yes, I know what you mean….. It will happen, soon.

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