PRI: Disarmed British Police Are Better than Armed U.S. Police

Armed British police (courtesy nbcnews.com)

Anti-gunners love Britain. Guns are banned! Not even cops have guns! Hardly anyone’s shot! Comparing Britain to the U.S. is like comparing chalk and cheese. The U.K. is, for the lack of a better word, a police state. It’s the most surveilled country on earth. The right to remain silent is dead (see: “adverse inferences“). They have non-criminal anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs). And so on. When confronted with the latest police state intrusions on individual liberty, the common response is “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” As far as I can tell, the country is a lost cause, freedom-wise. Right. So. Here’s an American Anglophile’s anti-gun agitprop [via pro.org] . . .

Reports continue to be released in an attempt to get an exact number of how many people have been shot and killed by [American] police in recent years.

It’s a problem they don’t have in Manchester, England, where the number of deaths in the last 40 years is two. Sir Peter Fahy, the chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, believes that the the number is the result of a radically different approach toward guns and mental health than we have in the United States.

“The whole way that we train officers is that the absolute last resort is to use your firearm,” he says. “When you get into a situation, you assess the situation, you give yourself other options. And it starts from a position, always, that the best weapon is their mouth.”

The vast majority have to use their mouths, or at least not firearms, because only 209 of the 6,700 officers in Manchester’s force are armed. Fahy doesn’t believe that Manchester is particularly safe or small; it’s a busy English city with a population of 2.7 million people, dangerous situations and encounters happen every day.

Sure. The American way to police the populace is to clear leather, shoot first and ask questions later. Or … not. In 2011, blogger Jim Fischer counted 607 Americans shot dead by police that year. In 1996, there were 45 million police/civilian interactions. Using these rough numbers, we can hardly conclude that American cops are trigger happy. Especially considering the dangers they face.

Which cops in Britain don’t face because guns are banned (more or less)! It’s gunbantopia! Only maybe not so much . . .

This is not to say that Manchester — or England as a whole — doesn’t have its fair share of problems, particularly with race. In 2011, major protests followed the shooting of a black teenager in London. But the proactive community approach seems to be helping.

“I think by the form of neighborhood policing that we use, we can be very active in dealing with community tension,” says Fahy, noting that tensions with the Muslim community are especially high. “Being proactive gives you a chance, but I wouldn’t want to say that the British police has had huge amount more success [than the US].”

Yes, about those 2011 race riots. You may recall that disarmed London citizens were helpless against looters, arsonists and the usual rabble that capitalizes on “civil unrest.” Here’s a little refresher [via wikipedia]:

On 10 August, in Winson Green, Birmingham, three men – Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shahzad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31 – were killed in a hit-and-run incident while attempting to protect their neighbourhood from rioters and looters . . .

Britain riots 2011 (courtesy marxist.com)

A 68-year-old man, Richard Mannington Bowes, died on 11 August after he was attacked while attempting to stamp out a litter-bin fire in Ealing on the evening of 8 August . . .

In London, between Monday afternoon and the early hours of Tuesday, 14 people were injured by rioters. These included a 75-year-old woman who suffered a broken hip in Hackney.

In Barking, East London, 20-year-old Malaysian student Ashraf Rossli was beaten and then robbed twice by looters emptying his rucksack.

There’s plenty more, including 186 injured police officers and five police dogs. Rioters set over 100 serious fires (eight fire engines had their windscreens smashed and two fire cars were attacked) leading to property damage which remains to this day. Ah, but that’s the price of safety! True enough. A police state is far safer than a free society – right until it isn’t. Speaking of which . . .

Did you catch that bit about tension in Manchester’s Muslim community? Seems the somewhat disarmed UK police have something of a terrorist problem. In fact, the somewhat disarmed UK police are actually tooling-up. Which is a bit of a problem, in that they don’t have enough “qualified” armed police. No matter. They’re drafting-in retired police marksman to fill the gap.

Of course, the UK’s approach exists within the context of a public that is much less attached to guns, or at least in a country with stricter gun laws, which Fahy acknowledges. But rather than trying to change a culture, simple reforms could change the types of situations that American officers face.

“Realistically, you’re not going to change the gun culture in the US. But it’s more about the way police officers have to deal with incidents where people may be carrying weapons, and there should be other ways of dealing with that, other than shooting them dead.”

Condescending git, I say. And yes, Americans are “attached” to guns. Mostly because they don’t want their country to become the black hole of liberty that the UK has become. And continues to become. Even as its police proclaim that their [supposedly] gun-free touchy-feely approach to law enforcement makes them a gun control paradise. Which it isn’t.

comments

  1. avatar arsh says:

    There’s no doubt that the police training in our country has gone to crap. In the 70’s 80’s and 90’s how often did you hear about dogs being executed for no reason? That said disarming the populous is stupid. We’re armed because of how England treated its citizens and us when we moved and we’ll keep it that way.

    Don’t ban guns. Fix police training

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      ” In the 70’s 80’s and 90’s how often did you hear about dogs being executed for no reason?’

      Indeed. It certainly appears that there has been a change in police organizational culture in which the routine shooting of people’s pets has become an institutionalized practice. Radly Balko attributes the change to the militarization of police. That’s about as good an explanation as any. Certainly, the official police explanations aren’t going to go further than “officer safety” excuses for shooting puppies. Ex-military and ex-military wannabe cops are bringing Fallujah to your neighborhood.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      US police training switched to “Clear leather at the slightest hint of danger” because the police were forced to perform a “social experiment” of hiring physically unqualified women.

      The average woman cop couldn’t protect herself by physical force. (Damn that sexist biology!)

      The police force couldn’t have two sets of rules of engagement for men and women…..because that would be SEXIST….and possibly limit promotion of women.

      Thus, change the rules of engagement that any sex or physical size can use…… clear leather and start shooting.

    3. avatar JasonM says:

      How much of that is because the police are getting worse? And how much is because we have far better communication technology? The “epidemic” of mass shootings is due to the latter, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the police brutality “epidemic” is from the same reason. I’ve studied enough history to know I’d rather be a black teenager in St. Louis in 2014 than in 1974.

      I think police militarization is another cause, and that has been mostly in the last 20 years.

      1. avatar arsh says:

        I can agree on some of the reporting being boosted, but cops are a lot quicker on the trigger too. When you only had 6 shots in a revolver you couldn’t go blasting your way around the county claiming everyone else shot at you first. I wish they’d switch them back to revolvers, but then you’d be back to the arguments about them being under-armed which is what caused the switch in the first place. That’s why I’m a fan of bodycams, I just wish all “investigations” were starting to get handled EXTERNALLLY

  2. avatar Jim says:

    And yet, having spent time in almost every major city on 4 continents over the last two decades, London is the only one (outside of an active warzone) that I’ve seen or heard a running gun battle involving automatic weapons…but it’s a gun-free paradise…

    Also, most of the cops I know in the UK have been stabbed repeatedly on the job. But supposedly violent crime is so low there…because guns.

    1. avatar working4change says:

      gun conntrol only helps corrupt police states and Criminals

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Actually, “gun violence” is very low in England, but the violent crime rate is four time higher than in the United States, at least when one compares figures from the Home Office to those of the FBI. To be fair, however, England’s definition of “violent crime” is more inclusive than in the US. For example, a homeowner defending his home from robbers is a “violent criminal” in Britain, which kind of tends to skew things. (yes, it is the ultimate socialist nanny state.) Nonetheless, you are for more likely to be beaten and stabbed in “civilized” England than in the US. (Strange how Piers Morgan never mentioned that itsy bitsy little fact.) “A Clockwork Orange” is almost a true story now.

      1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

        Their homicide rate is very low because of their crooked way of counting a homicide. The U.K. only counts a homicide if there is a conviction for that homicide. If the U.K. counted homicides the way the U.S.A. counted homicides, the U.K.’s homicide rate would more than double.

        However, you spoke of “gun violence”. My point is that if the U.K. is willing to alter the data on homicides to make them seem less, then it is willing to do the with crimes committed with guns. Don’t trust the U.K. government in this matter.

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          My mind invented a cute Monty Python type skit on this….

          A Londoner is shot and killed by a terrorist who escapes the country. The British subject arrives at the Pearly Gates, where St.Peter asks how he died. “Ah, I was murdered!”, the Brit replies. St. Peter checks his book, to no avail. “Sorry; no murder with your name on it. So how did you really die?” “I tell you, I was murdered! This bloke shot and killed me!” “Nope, sorry”, St. Peter insists, “didn’t happen. No murder conviction in the record.”
          Etc.

  3. avatar jonwaynetaylor says:

    I heard this story on air and had some of the same issues, but clapped out loud when I heard this:

    “If you end up using your police force for mental health services, then the trouble is that police officers end up having to deal with people who often have disorders or are troubled in certain ways,” Fahy adds. “So we worked very strongly with our health service to make sure that it is health workers who respond to mental health crises, not police officers.”

    And how could you not agree with ““But it’s more about the way police officers have to deal with incidents where people may be carrying weapons, and there should be other ways of dealing with that, other than shooting them dead.”

  4. avatar onezero says:

    I’m kind of a grouchy old guy (I like to think of it as part of my charm) Does that make me guilty of anti-social behavior? Should I be arrested?

  5. avatar working4change says:

    Hitler actually Won in the UK!

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      You are most assuredly correct. Recently a man was arrested and is being prosecuted for “hate speech” because he stood on a corner in a public place and quoted a speech by Winston Churchill. (Apparently, some of Winston’s remarks were “unseemly” anti-Muslim.) Just recently, some education institution encouraged teachers to search (with student consent supposedly) of brown bag lunches brought from home in order to eliminate (what the teacher considers to be) “unhealthy” foods. The list is endless–the people are not free. Sadly, the Brits seem to like it that way.

  6. avatar OakRiver says:

    And during the riots an armed gang even shot at a police helicopter using an illegally held firearm http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/jun/07/jailed-shooting-police-birmingham-riots

  7. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    So, according to the numbers cited above for the USA, 607 fatalities (in 2011) measured against approximately 45,000,000 police/citizen interactions (in 1996, probably a little high as compared to today as ’96 was close to the Crack Wars and today we have seen a long downward trend in crime overall in the last two decades or so). Just for fun let’s use the 45,000,000 figure as a rough baseline (the US population has grown from 265,000,000 in ’96 to 317,000,000 in ’15, a delta 52,000,000 and a percent increase of 19.6). We get a law enforcement interaction fatality rate of about 0.001348% of the time or 1.348/100,000 interactions. Considering the daily crap and madness that cops have to put up with that strikes me as a truly remarkable exercise of restraint on the part of law enforcement.

    1. avatar Chrispy says:

      Woah now, you need to be careful using logic and reason like that! It’s pretty powerful stuff.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I believe a happy middle ground is quite possible. The real question is whether policy makers have any desire to achieve a middle ground with policing.

  9. avatar Roy H says:

    I want SMG open carry. Is that too much to ask for?

  10. There are, and have been, radical differences in the way policing is carried out in the U.S. and the U.K. In the U.S. we moved from community policing in the late 90’s to this anti-terror mission that we’re doing today. Today’s full throttle SWAT mentality isn’t working in the U.S. We could learn a thing or two from the U.K. and it’s employment of the Peelian Principles.

    Most of the cops working in the U.S., today, are post 9/11 recruits who never worked under community policing methods. It’s been a backwards slide for us over the last 14 years.

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      The UK also has no problem using their army in the midst of their own population. Royal Army EOD handles bomb calls that would be a police matter here, and they put anti-aircraft missile batteries on apartment rooftops for the Olympics. I’m not saying that having US Army units running certain missions here in American cities would be a requirement for reigning in the SWAT mindset, but if it were a package deal, would you still prefer the UK model?

      1. We use the military here. If we call out for the bomb squad, those of us without an agreement with the city PD have the EOD team from Fort Indiantown Gap respond. We also use the National Guard for air recon looking for weed grow operations buried in the endless acres of corn.

        I really do wish that the Peelian Principles were taught here. Instead the academy is full of officer safety BS where it’s drilled into you that it’s better for a suspect to get slammed into the pavement than for you to be injured. I have to keep my mouth shut, every year at continuing ed, when these oldtimer jackass instructors brag about how many people they sent to the hospital just for sport. These jackasses are the reason why we get no cooperation today, two generations from the beatdown. Peelian #4 and #5.

        My sister-in-law lives in the U.K. and I always make it a point to stop in at the local West Sussex police station with some goodies from here and end up spending the day learning how and why they do things there. They have far fewer assaults on officers and officer injuries than we have here. It’s a working model that can be adapted and employed here.

        1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          Interesting, here in King County WA there are several police bomb squads. EOD responds only when unmodified military ordinance is found, usually when a veteran passes on without telling anyone he snuck half a dozen grenades or something home. If it’s military explosives that have been modified in any way, they won’t touch it.

          National Guard is slightly different, just because the Governor is the Commander in Chief unless the unit is called up to active duty. Still, I’m surprised to hear it.

        2. avatar Roymond says:

          Some of the treatment officers dish out on suspects would qualify as torture under international law if done by military personell.

      2. avatar Tom says:

        It’s not a Royal Army as unlike the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force it exists due to Parliamentary decree not royal decree ( though the army still swear allegiance to the Queen not Parliament).

        Whilst military personnel do carry out EOD work they can not actually arrest anyone outside of military installations.

    2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      we moved from community policing in the late 90’s to this anti-terror mission that we’re doing today. Anti-terror is bogus, anti-drug and anti-people is closer to the truth.

      1. We know what it is, but, the way it’s being sold to new recruits at the academy is total BS. They’re selling it as these young kids are the the front line of the way on terror. Every traffic stop could be that sleeper cell on its way to commit mass murder. It’s total BS. You can’t be effective from the inside of a vehicle. You have to get out of the car, mingle at the little league game, stop and talk to dog walkers without harassing them. The community has to value and trust you, not see you as some quasi occupying force. But, with the grants come the strings to justify the spending and that means more war gear and more show of force, from the cars to the guns to the uniforms. It has to scare people. It’s total BS. It’s not like it was in 1999. I miss those days.

  11. avatar Unknown Prosecutor says:

    Random Thoughts:

    I highly recommend the show that originally aired on the BBC called “Luther” — One of the most comical bits was Luther explaining a fellow detective how to use a Glock. I found myself yelling at the TV in mock anger “I know how to use a Glock… Pull the trigger!!!”

    I love the U.K. — spent one of the best years of my life there in college, but man, they have given up. It’s sad. Their police do have a few lessons to show our American cops – buddy of mine who was a copper in the north of England does a great seminar on being able to interpret body language and using one’s voice and posture to defuse situations. He says he can tell when someone is going to attack him 5 seconds before it happens just based on what the person is doing with his face.

    I realize it is so ‘Merica! to say that another country has gone soft, but the U.K. has.

    * They want safety at any cost. ASBOs were mentioned above, but another crazy civil liberties infringement is the football banning order – if you have been found to have been involved in soccer violence before, you are subject to having to go down to the police station to turn in your passport everytime your favorite team plays abroad.

    *You can’t bowhunt in England because… reasons.

    * Can’t sell a knife to a 17 year old

    * A bookseller can be convicted of inciting terrorism.. for selling a book.

    * It’s a criminal offense to say words that are “likely to cause, another person harassment, alarm or distress…”

    Land of hope and glory indeed…

  12. avatar neiowa says:

    What’s not to love about England
    -They have the Queen/”royalty” and such. Horrible what Americans did to them.
    -They have abandoned greatness and power in pursuit of Marxism
    -Have decided that pro sport and drunken stupidity is the greatest thing
    -Abandoned industry for tourism
    -Wholesale closure of a once mighty military force.
    -Socialist medical system failure
    -Embraced “multiculturalism” with rampant unchecked Islam
    -Abandoned Christian religion
    – Have BBC/Dr Who

    1. avatar Chrispy says:

      To top it all off, now they won’t have any good Top Gear episodes

      1. avatar Model 31 says:

        The BBC’s “The Musketeers” is entertaining…lots of guns and swords. No commercials on live TV. On DVD, an hour long episode is an hour long…at least 58 minutes instead of the 43 minute the US calls an hour long episode. They have a TV tax though.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      You forgot “Tea time”

  13. avatar Question Authority says:

    This article gave me the opportunity to research Manchester UK a little. Some cool facts about the Manchester UK “Utopia”

    1. There appears to be a serial killer on the loose dubbed “The Pusher” 61 mysteriously dead, found in the canals in 6 years. I appears that in the UK if you are found dead with a “puncture wound” the chest and dumped in a canal, the cause of death is deemed “Unexplained”.

    “Canadian tourist Anthony Muise, 53, was found in the Manchester Ship Canal with a puncture wound to his chest in February 2010. Police said “very little” was known about his final movements and his death was treated as unexplained.”

    If that is what they call “police work” they have more problems than at first glance. It appears if someone is stabbed and found dead in the UK it is a “unexplained death” where in the US it is a murder. Pretty shabby work there.

    2. Their “gang problem” is probably a lot more serious in the UK, their gangs use grenades and guns. 2 Manchester police were murdered in 2012 by Dale Cregan, one officer was a woman. Dale turned himself in and later commented that his only regret was “that he killed female officers.” Chivalry is not dead in England /sarc.

    He alsor murdered two other people with guns and a grenade.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Nicola_Hughes_and_Fiona_Bone

    3. Manchester “was the real-life backdrop for some of Britain’s most notorious mass murders – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley carried out their heinous crimes on the Moors surrounding Greater Manchester between 1963 and 1965; Harold Shipman, convicted of killing 15 patients, had a surgery in nearby Hyde; and Trevor Hardy, known as the “Beast of Manchester”, murdered three teenage girls here between 1973 and 1976. ”
    from the first article.

    Most of the English murders don’t need no stinkin’ guns! /sarc Maybe their victims could have?

    1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      Regarding number one: the U.K. government doesn’t count a homicide as homicide unless there is a homicide conviction. If it did, the homicide rate would be at least twice as high as it is reported.

  14. avatar Rich says:

    A gun ban paradise the UK. Its an Island, Guns are banned. Yet its admitted violent crime rate is over 2x the US. Banning guns does not work anywhere its tried. They have a more homogeneous population. Violent crime rates have risen since they banned guns. Self defense is a cause for a jail sentence for the victim. Freedom exacts a cost but big government is much more costly. Ask the millions killed by their big governments in the last 100 years.

  15. avatar Icabod says:

    As memory serves, in Great Britain, a gun death is only counted when there is a conviction. As many deaths go unsolved, or are plea bargained, or conviction is years after the event, the numbers can’t real be compared to the U.S.
    http://rboatright.blogspot.com/2013/03/comparing-england-or-uk-murder-rates.html

    1. avatar NjGunGuy says:

      Thank you for that link.

  16. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Disarming the police in America is an even bigger fantasy than disarming the general populace.

    Imagine the gun-controllers got their way here as they did in the UK and Australia. Imagine there’s a peaceful gun turn-in, and civilians voluntarily disarmed. No guns in private hands anymore, and some sort of miracle occurs that convinces the majority of criminals to throw away their guns, too.

    Now, all of that is impossible, of course, but even more impossible is the idea that, even in that disarmed “utopia”, American police would ever give up their own guns. It’s such a ridiculous notion, it might as well have dragons and wizards in it. So how would disarming the public reduce police shootings? There are already plenty of cases of cops shooting unarmed people or executing non-aggressive dogs and other such egregious abuses of force, so how does disarming the public change that calculus?

  17. avatar Chris. says:

    “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”

    Yeah, they changed that slogan…

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/usvsth3m/how-obeying-law-no-longer-5688690

    Their new one is:
    “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.”

  18. avatar gsnyder says:

    You can’t compare one country to another when populations, Gov’t structures, and historical existence differ. The anti-gunners do this all the time for a reason, it’s easy to display differences and hard for pro-gunners to explain why it doesn’t hold water.

  19. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    Trained to use their mouths instead of guns? I can imagine the bad guy saying “Hey ‘Bobby’, drop to your knees and bob on this! Now, f*ck off!

  20. avatar Ray Ficara says:

    WHAT do you expect in a day when some pinhead writes a column whining that England should have won the War of Independence? No doubt thousands of pointy-head profs with ponytails are indoctrinating their students with that drivel now.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      I thought we did 🙂

  21. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Yuck-V for Vendetta indeed-and turn in your steak knives! Shoulda’ run this on the 4th of July…

  22. avatar Yadama says:

    Ahh, yes…the founding fathers knew this country would be whittled down to that of its former parent thus enshrining an amendment so simple, yet so effective, that even in modern times it would cause grief upon those treasonous enough to try and return us to that nature.

  23. avatar ghost says:

    I don’t care how they do it in Britain. As to police, I think of them being in the cities, much more dangerous. The cops and the criminals. I would rather deal with the sheriff’s dept. or the state troopers. Out here we are not packed so tightly that we get on each others nerves enough to start shooting each other. There are a lot of firearms out here, potential miscreants know it.

  24. avatar Elliott says:

    Give me liberty, or give me – ah, actually just a spot of tea will do, officer!

  25. avatar Cassandra (of Troy) says:

    Re: U.K. violent crime figs

    Others have remarked on the ‘malleable’ nature of Bwittish crime stats but w/o citations to back up said assertions. To correct that deficit, I offer the following items from Bwittish sources. First, let’s begin w/ guns.:

    This from April 2005
    This from I believe 2006
    This from October 2008
    This from May 2013
    This from Nov 2013

    And now, let’s take a look at knives.:

    This from March 2007
    This from July 2008
    This from Dec 2008
    This also from Dec 2008
    (Note: On BBC items see also the side stories which can be bactracked quite aways for even more interesting info on Bwittish crime.)

    As you can see, owah ‘bettahs’ from across The Pond are rahthuh coy w/ their crime documentation whereas we “uncivilised, uncouth, unwashed, ungrateful Colonial trash” are positively Germanic in our ‘mania’ to collect/report our crime figures as comprehensively/accurately as possible appearences bedamned. Interesting thing is that the pattern of deception shown in Bwittin’s violent crime assessment/reporting methods also appears in Cahnahduh & Oz, must be a condition peculiar to those still afflicted w/ Anglophilia. Depending on one’s predeliction, we Americans have happily/unfortunately largely cured ourselves of that particular malady MUCH to the severe irritation (& despite the best efforts) of foreign & domestic sycophants of Imperium to re-infect us w/ that disease. Another interesting thing is that more & more Ingwish (especially the young & talented) are exiting Bwittin for Europe & Oz. Odd, eh wot?

  26. avatar GEORGE LI says:

    I think most of the police officers in The UK and Ireland must be armed with a pistols and a rifle because it would be easier to arrest Chinese gangs and Vietnamese Gangs. Especially in London, officers must be armed with a gun and a stun gun( taser ) .

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