As an officer with many years service, I was asked by the local federation to attend a conference on the future of policing. The floating Kingdom having no police force has started to give politicians in other countries including mine the idea of saving money and reducing police force manpower. Obviously this has to be resisted.
The conference was in the floating kingdom, which my view is a silly idea we should avoid the place and put others off from going there in protest.
We all traveled separately arriving by air. On landing some people including me were separated from the arrivals group for questioning, it may have just been because we were not in families. It was a bit of a wierd arrangement, we were invited individually into an office and sat down and very politely welcomed and asked a few questions, they had a TV camera looking at me, and really didn't ask that much, and there was no real questioning of the form I would use if I wanted to know something. The interviewer sat the other side of a glass toped desk that had TV screens or monitors underneath that they could see. Out of the room was two further doors a blue one and and green one and I was directed out of the blue door, which led along a corridor to another room where several security people were present, and we entered one at a time, they put a watch like device on each of us and explained how it meant that we would be tracked while within the kingdom and a computer would know where exactly we were and had been at every time. There was a small handout with it. I asked what happens if I wont wear it, and they said, then you get on the next plane home, so I agreed to wear it. It was explained that if we had a problem we could go to any of the transport people or ask the hotel management, but not to try to remove the device.
On the way out I started to complain to some of the others also fitted with the device, but most seemed to feel that it protected them from being wrongly accused of things, so I was very much in the minority.
The place was impressive enough, huge islands, loads of boats, nice weather, and friendly enough people. You could see how people got seduced by this place.
The hotel was modern, fine, and I stayed in my room watching TV the first night.
The following morning when we got to the conference we heard that the blighters had sent two of our speakers home. They just had a few drinks and got involved in a punch up. The fact that they were law officers didn't cut any weight here, and they got put on a plane out. Apparently they knew who they were due to the damned wrist thingy.
Not only that but one of their people had the affront to come and address our conference, god knows why anyone would have invited him. He presented some statistics showing no crime, but with no police there is no one to report it to is there. Then went on to make excuses, such as transport people being a part of the crew, islands creating separation, and the only way to get from one place to another was like police cars taking people home. A really silly analogy if you ask me. He went on to explain the damn watch thingy and how the computer used tracking to keep tabs on them all exactly at all time. Apparently some residents even volunteer to wear one and have help buttons on theirs.
Apparently even their president wears one, and needs no security, and the guy talking to us had one on and was on about all its extra facilities, from being able to call for assistance, or calling specific help such as a paramedic to being able to receive pager messages.
Residents who are accused of crimes don't go to court but are asked to wear the damn thingy, knowing their whereabouts will then be known and many younger people like to wear them, some because they want to pretend to have been bad and other as they want to show they have nothing to hide. Parents also have them put on younger children so their whereabouts are known and even the boats have them so a missing boat can be found at once. He did say you couldn't do the same thing in an existing country.
He had the nerve to go on and say that police forces create a lot of their crime and in many communities on land people think they will get fitted up anyway so might as well do the crime if they are going to be punished for another anyway. He had the nerve to criticize us looking the other way for those who act as informers for us or officers who get caught out doing something a little on the gray side.
All you can say is that the villains I have regular dealings with wouldn't like this and neither is it good for police officers or anyone else in the criminal law or judiciary system. If they could implement these diabolical systems in cities, just think there would be no or very little crime, the need for few officers, no overtime, and then who would there be to protect society.
A large number of other speakers followed, most as concerned as I am about the effect of this, and the threat by some politicians to try to use some of the philosophies of this place. It has been suggested that people who claim to be fitted up will be able to volunteer to wear the damn wrist thing instead of going to court, similarly people who will wear it could be let out of prisons, that even police officers should be told we have to wear them. We all agree this will mean fewer officers, no chance to swan off a bit or even carry on the odd affair while on duty. What happens if they do control the real criminals, crime will drop, and we all know we need increased crime to get more overtime and for the courts and press to support us and overlook the slight discrepancies, like fabricated evidence and lost material wanted by the defense.
I can tell you by the time I left that day I was even more concerned than when I arrived. Even when we went out in the evening we couldn't have a really good time as we knew the damn wrist thingy meant we could be identified.
The next morning I had a chat with some of these transport drivers, a cross between a taxi driver and guide. I put it to them straight that they were doing several peoples work, acting as first aiders until paramedics arrived, being local patrols, but they just couldn't see it, just went on about they all benefited, and had no license fee because they were a part of the team. Just imagine this at home, like neighborhood watch gone mad with every taxi, bus and transport driver, as well as many others acting as unpaid area patrol people.
I also put it to them that you need people who know the law to know if an offence has been committed and they all laughed at me, apparently they have a simplified legal system that everyone can understand, and their constitution limits the amount of laws and specifies that they have to be presented in a way that everyone knows what the law is. I really cant see that being acceptable at home, all the pressure groups would be up in arms about their pet law being dropped, and just think how hard it would be for us, if we could only arrest people for doing what they knew was wrong. Its the whole attitude there, with no police, everyone is involved, has a view, is an informer, gets involved.
That morning one of their people was back at the conference, I nearly left when I realized, he was going on about having no prisons, no creation of criminals, no creation of groups who feel aggrieved and opportunities for all. Offenders have to sit down with people from their communities and discuss good communities and if a community is not happy that a person will live according to their rules they can sort of outlaw them, banning them from their area, if no area will take them then they have to leave the country. The catch being that they have an island run by the state that has a rehab unit that will always give people a last chance and can persuade other communities if they show they can behave to allow them back in.
Next we had a person from a drug rehab unit they have, he had a really silly idea, hard drugs issued by special doctors free to addicts who have to attend rehab, and only start to come off when they want. They are not allowed to take them out, but with free drugs there is no market for dealers and no dealers no new addicts. With free drugs there is also no drug related crime creating the income for the drugs. He even claimed that kids here look on addicts as mentally ill people who go to doctors for their fix, so its not even cool to try things. I think our method is better lock um up, let them out, they get back in the cycle and keep us all busy. I don't see any fun in this place, there's no conflict, no war on anyone or thing, I couldn't stick this place, when you have a row with anyone you cant even go and beat someone up to get rid of your anger.
If that was not all daft enough, later that day we got to hear of an even dafter policy. If a person gets too drunk they hold the people who gave them the booze responsible, that means the hotel and their friends with them. However if you want to get drunk they have special islands that you can go to where you are allowed to, and they have people to handle problems, provide medical assistance etc all within the island. What's more you both have to pay to go onto the island and get a bill for medical or other help and for any damage you cause. Apparently if people have too much they just give them a small sleeping draft in their next drink and carry them off to sober up, now where's the fun in that. No graffiti, plants allowed to grow everywhere without being ripped up and even speed limits automatically enforced by technology, its not the sort of society I would want to live in.
Well I have been and I wont go again, unless I just want a safe little place to take the kids or something. I think even then I'd rather just send the wife and kids out and go somewhere with a few mates.
As to the threat to us all, well I can't see it catching on, unpaid politicians without their trotters in the trough, nothing for them to whinge about. As only one in three people in jails are actually there for the crime we get them convicted for, most probably have done some other, we will just have to make sure we keep sufficient informers and others out to keep crime up, our jobs and overtime safe. No it will never catch on here, or if it does at least I'll have reached my pension.
Copyright New Atlantis.