Our obsession with crime is crushing our freedoms
The story of Milly, an eight-year-old cat who disappeared out of window in Whitstable two weeks ago, has much to tell us about the petty-minded forces that have come to replace proper policing in this country. Her owners, Stephen and Heather Cope and their son Daniel, 13, searched high and low for Milly, then, failing to find her, did what any normal person would do: put up posters to see if anyone had seen her. The next thing they heard was from one of the local council community wardens, who rang the telephone number on the poster and threatened them with a £80 on-the-spot fine for antisocial behaviour.
Seldom can there have been a more officious, twerpish enforcement of the law, but this kind of action is now one of the established parts of this dreadful government’s legacy. As the police retreat from the streets, we are prey to every type of snoop, informant, busybody and vindictive martinet, all of them licensed by the government’s accreditation scheme so that they may demand our names and addresses, photograph us, check car tax discs and seize alcohol, issue fines for truancy, rowdiness, graffiti and dog fouling. …
Where are we going, and where do we want to end up?