After many, many years of Policing I can state that I believe that two of the major causes of most of the problems I have faced are related to two things. I have not included management in this.
The major factor in incidents of public disorder, anti-social behaviour and most spontaneous outbreaks of violence involves the actions directly related to alcohol consumption. Some of the events of the last week support this.
Alcohol is easily and legally obtainable with little or no responsibility resting on those who sell and even fewer of the consequences stay with those who consume and behave in bad ways. The consequences stay with the victims and not those who fail to take the responsibility to control their actions after alcohol consumption.
Secondly controlled substances, drugs, heroin, crack, cocaine etc etc etc.
These are illegal to possess and have an alarmingly high effect on acquisitive crime in order to realise profit from the sale of stolen property and the purchase of these drugs. There is untold misery caused by the thieves and burglars to the victims of this related type of crime with little or no recourse by the victim. All to often the addiction ravaged drug taker and thief is somehow portrayed as a victim. A victim of an evil addiction but at the same time someone who constantly appears unanswerable to the consequences of their offending. There are also numerous people who sell their souls, their bodies and their close family ties in the name of drugs and the misery they cause.
So there you have it, two of the evils of our society that are responsible for so much misery and negative effect. One is glamorised and popularised by trendy and attractive advertising campaigns, has sponsored major events and sporting teams, is easily available and a huge source of revenue for the Government.
The other is illegal, a dark and shady under the counter type of business, still readily available to people who want to buy it and allows a good living for those in the top levels of the supply and demand chain. The Government have not yet found a way of taxing this.
The cost to the country, and therefore the taxpayers, is not known, but I would hazard a guess that the costs for treatment for addicts, of either alcohol or controlled drugs, is huge. The time spent by charitable trusts, hospitals, other volunteer organisations and clinics in treating the addicts would be absolutely astonishingly high. The disruption to Hospital A &E Departments across the country as a direct result of alcohol or drugs related incidents, as well as the first hand shit the hospital staff are forced to endure in the name of helping people who are the abusers, offenders as well as the victims of the first group is another astonishingly high figure.
Drugs, alcohol, I haven’t even touched on the dreaded tobacco. I shall remain with the first two.
Why are both either made illegal and banned or both made legal and taxed to cover just some of the cost of putting in place sufficient resources to deal with the aftermath that results in their abuse and numerous offences committed in their names?
The dedication of staff in many public service establishments in towns and cities across the country keep a lid on things for most of the time. This should allow the people who can make the decisions, to change things, the time to evaluate their choices and decision making processes. Government after Government, in succession, fail to do anything about it because they claim that the evidence of this deterioration is allegedly never there to make them understand that a real and worsening problem exists. There is always some expert or statistic to show the opposite of what everyone else knows is going on. They claim to be listening but they appear to be selectively hearing. Still nothing appears to get done.
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