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Archive for September, 2009

(What to Change)

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So in what manner does Revolution impact on policing? This Post is an examination of the delicate complexities of the relationship between a revolutionary movement and the Police. It is an awkward situation really, a revolution is, axiomatically, as big a breach of the law as you can get. And yet a revolution cannot practically happen without the explicit or complicit consent of the people. A revolutionary movement is an expression of the public will. Theoretically, the Police serve the will of the people, and yet practically the police serve the letter of the Law. In a legalistic framework, the Law resolves as an expression of custom and usage, definitions and the intersection of society and government. Precedent defines definition, with the added complication that Parliament may add or amend legislation to reform definitions, intent and practise of the Law. Inherent in the nature of political and complex systems is the potential and inevitability for self interest and internal logic to form sectors that end up serving themselves rather than the original objectives. Therefore there exists a potential dichotomy between the Will of the People and the institutions of the Law. That being the case, do our statutes, institutions and practises of the Law actually form a mechanism of expression that is at odds with the will of the people? For that matter, what constitutes the will of the people? And what are the practical policing implications of all this?

Technically, publicly advocating the subverting of a law is a breach of the Law, and yet within certain contexts and parameters it is de’facto and de’jure considered legitimate. One of these contexts includes the democratic political process. For instance, it is legitimate to call for the repeal of a law, even occasionally to call for the disobedience to a law, as long as that happens within the context of the normal and established forms of the parliamentary process. During a political debate or confrontation, two or more competing factions may have diametrically opposed views on a matter of legislation and Law. There may be no clear community consensus on the subject either, and in this instance the Police may well not be relevant to the proceedings even when an opinion contrary to the Law of the land is expressed and advocated. Even when such contrary opinion is actually actioned, it may still not be subject to legal sanction or Police response. The NZ Anti-Apartheid movement in 1981 was involved in actions protesting the Springbok tour. Those actions may technically have constituted a breach of the law, however judgement calls were made at a number of levels within the policing and justice system that while sanctioning some behaviours, effectively condoned others. springbokThere are provisions within the law and precedents of custom and usage that allows for flexibility and enforcement discretion within certain social contexts. The Police need not enforce the letter of the Law to the full extent of the Law in every instance, similarly with the courts. So there exists a stepwise graduation of the practice of the Law between rigid enforcement, discretionary enforcement, and circumstances where it would be inappropriate to enforce the Law.

To draw another extreme example; the people who work in and administer the system of the Law, collectively constitute a significant body. Likewise, the number of people sanctioned by the Law also constitute large numbers. Judges, lawyers, police, prison officers, etc on one side and convicted offenders on the other side. Arguably these two groups have diametrically opposed interests and opinions of the Law and in one sense would serve to cancel each other out. They are still however distinct minorities of society, both as factions and as a combined interrelated complex, most people are neither officers or protagonists of the law. The vast majority of people have occupations and lives that have minimal contact with the law beyond infringement incidents (parking tickets etc) or compliance requirements (building permits etc). Yet in this instance, the bulk of the population hold an opinion substantially compliant with the Law, and the “Will of the People” may fairly be adjudged to be properly rendered by the instituted legal system. Our prisons hold those people who have offended against the prevailing social norms. The Police as a component of the legal system act in compliance with their oaths and responsibilities by apprehended offenders, processed them into the Justice system and thereby discharged their duty to the community. It is not always so straightforward, and there need to be systems in place for society to influence, amend, originate or repeal legislation and laws so that the will of the people is reflected in the laws of the land and in the policing of those laws.

For example: the Prostitution Law Reform Bill was the result of an interesting situation. The Law stated that certain activities surrounding the practice of prostitution were illegal. The Police investigated and brought cases against a number of people. Those cases proceeded by due process through the courts, but failed in the prosecution of the offences. The courts could not and would not convict. That being the case, the Police declined to bring any more such cases before the courts and recommended to government that the Law needed to be re-addressed in parliament. Substantially, the courts recognised there was insufficient public support for the Law as it stood and started a process that raised the question to a superior body for review and possible amendment. In this instance the superior body was parliament and subsequently the Law was rewritten, prostitution was legalised and the aggregate will of the people was adjudged to have been be recognised by the due process of the legal/political complex.

What our system of government and laws should be and should do, is always going to be a subject of debate and contention to some extent of course, but on a broad basis there should also be consensus. In one respect, it shouldn’t matter, the Law is the Law and the duty of the Police is to enforce the Law as it stands, deviations from the law should be policed as a matter of course and of policy. Should… isn’t that a wonderfully elusive concept though, particularly in a political context. The Police should recognise appropriate limits, and parliament should likewise, government bureaucracies should work in the interest of the public good and the public will, commerce and enterprise should work both within the spirit and letter of the law. Unfortunately those ideals are as often honoured in the breach, as the practise. There exist a multitude of opportunities and instances where the idealised social compact of ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’, is subverted to the result that various social factions and interests are served to the detriment of the wider community. Too often that subversion of the system from within is either not recognised or not policed. The mechanisms for appropriate policing are either completely absent, insufficiently applied, or deliberately suborned. Now in any society and within any system there is inevitably instances of this. It isn’t necessarily systematic or pervasive and should be able to be dealt with on a piecemeal basis as it becomes apparent or exposed. And that does in fact happen on a continuing basis, deviations are recognised and dealt with, corrective measures are implemented, remediation and rehabilitation occur. The system would seem redeemable, minor adjustments and amendments, a process of gradual evolution serves to police the system while effecting the will of the people, maintaining and advancing the social compact.

Or then again maybe not: what if what should be happening per the will of the people, actually is not? To what extent are there forms, factors and interests in play that subtly (and unsubtly) work to create a dislocation between intent and result. Is the reality actually that the system is corrupted to an extent that it is beyond redemption? If the existing mechanisms for coordinating and correlating the Will of the People with the letter and form of the Law, systematically fail in that endeavour, then the Police working within that dynamic must similarly fail to best serve their community. Revolution then, becomes an act of Policing, remediation to excise corrupt practice, and to clear the way to establish innovative and progressive systems to both address the prior problems and to foreclose at inception any incentive and imperative to renewed corrupt practise. The core of the question is: can the existing political, legal and policing system address the issues facing society or are those problems inherent to the system? If they are inherent to the system, then to remove the problems requires removal of the system. The system is the problem. And here is the problem for the Police: policing functions under the old regime simply serves to perpetuate the mechanisms of corruption and failure, either because the Police are corrupt (thankfully not really any sort of problem in NZ) or because it becomes an act of misdirection. We rigorously apply the laws, but we just don’t have laws for the things that need them and the existing system of Law acts to shield, protect and promote the inappropriate behaviour.

This is where the intersect is between society, government, the Law and the Police. The threat is that such a big blowback is created by failures of the system that our whole society is at risk. That situation can only come about from a legislature that is irredeemably captured by sectorial interests, corrupt participants, and systems and processes that have catastrophic unintended consequences. In fact it is the unintended consequences that are by far the major issue. A political system that creates Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee options that are no real options at all, mass media that entertains not educates, education systems that are chasing the dollar and not enlightenment, Laws that create lawyers and billable hours but little else, commercial and corporate practices that reward psychotic behaviour… it just goes on and on and on. The tragedy is that all these institutions are staffed by generally honest and earnest people, who are completely constrained by the processes they work within and over which they have no control. By definition, an irredeemable system creates conflicts that policing can’t resolve, only revolution can.

So, if the Police are here to serve and protect, then they must decide whom that means to serve and protect. On the assumption that it means the people of our nation, are the people best represented by the old established institutions or by the new Revolutionary movement. Do the Police serve and protect the government and its institutions – of which they are one – or do they serve the people marching in the streets demanding change? If or when we get to a sufficient crisis that raises this question, then this will be the cause of considerable angst both collectively and individually for police. This is not a trivial dilemma for a sworn arm of the Law.

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police

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Saved..!?!

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Colour me sceptical.

Over the last several days we have had the good news story rammed at us (just in time for the G20 meeting). The Powers that Be, are trying hard to get us into the positive frame of mind that signifies that all is well again and we can look forward to brighter days ahead. The storm clouds are receding and that positive sentiment is what is needed to get us past the hump and on the way to recovery. Admittedly they are also saying that it wont be easy, but yes, definitely there are all the good signs to be optimistic…

Hey, who knows, maybe they are right, maybe I will be proved wrong and our world will not collapse around our ears. I have been wrong before, I am sure I can be again. So who is right? The news headlines on Monday said that our country’s whole balance of payments was in the black and trending even better, Tuesday bought the news that Fonterra was going to be paying a higher than expected dividend – significant because it is our biggest export earner, then Wednesday the economic data says we have had a positive last quarter and are no longer in recession. Whoo hoo – our dollar exchange rate jumps 3 cents in three days, which equates to 9% and genuinely qualifies as dramatic by any standard. Looking good huh? The good guys have saved the day, Kumbaya.

Or – they are all a pack of lying, cheating, dissembling, hypocritical bastards. Nothing has changed since the world financial system fell off a cliff a year ago, except that the worlds Central Bankers are now all clinging desperately to each other, singing off the same song sheet and pumped money and credit into the system as fast as they can to try and levitate the whole corrupt, crony imbroglio long enough that some miracle might save them. They know (after the Bear Stern/Lehman debacle) that they all have to try to hang together, or they are all going to hang separately. I am voting for hanging them. (or maybe lining them up against a wall).

Well, one of us is right…!!!

If I am wrong then no-one will care, or even probably know, that I was just totally full of it and a fringe element nut-job. I’m not one of those Conspiracy Theory types of nuts, no I am rather more one of those End of the world types. Still, eventually one of those ‘End of the World’ prophets has got to be right, huh? Haha :-).  And if I am right, then the next couple of years will definitely be interesting times.

Maybe not the end of the world, Period. But End of the World as we know it, (EOTWAWKI)… definitely maybe…!

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(What to Change)

Setting the scene:

This post is about setting the conceptual base for some more essays on the whole life/work/society relationship.  I have several themes I want to develop, and while I am afraid it might in the process be a little bit disjointed, that is just in the nature of what I am trying to achieve. Formulating and drawing together strands that will include random musings, conjecture and conclusions will hopefully also be the start of the future defined.

Where I am coming from in respect of this is that I have grown up and lived through a particular phase of the worlds’ economic cycles and development. Particularly, through the repeated boom-bust-boom cycles. In retrospect it is all rather irritating because situations I have no control over have significantly shaped my personal and financial situation and not for the better. We have an economic system that bounces between boom and bust and jerks everyone with it. The problem is that this whole pattern is growing worse and it is effectively deliberate. We as societies have done it to ourselves through short sighted policies, wilful ignorance and blindness. None of our current problems is a surprise. If you pursue the routes we have taken, then the only possible result is that we are where we are now. There are none so blind as those that will not see. Particularly when there has been a mountain of money to be made by gaming the system.

So this is not just a matter of national debts, GDP’s, balance of payments, blah, blah, blah. Yes it is all those macro economic systems as well, but our whole financial system is really, in a full analysis, a consequence of much more basic social systems and structures, not the cause of them. Those basic systems are what deserve our attention, support and respect, but in our current dire economic situation we have the tail wagging the dog – yet again. Quite frankly it has got to stop, it is dangerous and wasteful – and worse, it is self inflicted. The relationship of citizens to the political system, the aims and objectives of your society, the structure of work, reward and distribution of resources and surpluses needs to revisited, seriously and urgently. Because our approach and answers to date have ultimately and patently failed to deliver anything satisfying or sustainable.

Now I may be biased, I look at my situation and am not happy with it, but I am not alone or unique in that perspective. Although a Wall Street hedge-fund manager who was raking in an $800 million bonus wouldn’t have had too much to complain about, I suspect there are more of me than there are of him. Is there still anyone left who is going to argue that his contribution to society is in the order of 15,000 times more beneficial than mine? Actually – yes, go ahead and argue that if you feel the need, and I can assure you that you will be amongst the first up against the wall when the Revolution comes. My counter will be no more complicated than, “those self same geniuses that worked out a way to pay themselves that sort of money were the same ones that created the stinking fraudulent mess we are currently in.” Wall Street games have ended in Main-street pain. They really couldn’t have created a worse mess if they had tried. Our labours and our livelihoods have been pissed away and I for one am pissed off.

Currently we are in the end game of a process of the evolution of our social and economic system that spanned the period of the 20th century. Our political economy now is the culmination of the fight for supremacy between fascism, communism and capitalism. Capitalism won that particular competition and went on to exploit its victory to the full extent of its abilities and character. It wasn’t all bad, there exists within the capitalist framework a lot of worthy ideals and mechanisms. It also contains the seeds of its own destruction however. There is no limits to how consuming it can grow. Continuous, endless, accelerating growth is patently and obviously an oxymoron, and yet that has not stopped it being pursued or held as an ideal. There are obvious and serious flaws in our theory of economics and society. That being the case, it is time and past time, to get on with reconceptualizing what we are doing, how we are doing it and where we are headed.

The 20th Century was the result of political philosophy and practical enterprise. Not necessarily working in concert or harmony. America’s robber barons created vast financial fortunes and empires: Ford. Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt etc, none were ever considered great philosophers, but they certainly knew where their interests lay and worked assiduously to further them. America’s future and strength was in no small part due to them. In contrast yet in compliment too, the philosophers of the 19th and 20th century also helped form our world as it currently is: Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, deTocqueville, Hayek, Keynes, Galbraith and Friedman. They have all contributed to the mix, for good and ill. There is a saying about democracy, that it is the worst possible system of government, except for all the rest. The same can be said of capitalism. In the 20th century it was better than all the rest, and to give it its due it does have to be acknowledged that it has raised more people out of poverty than any other system hitherto fore employed. But it is nether perfect, nor sacrosanct, above either reproach or improvement. We can and must do better, now is the time for the next generation of philosophers, innovators and entrepreneurs to chart and forge new courses.

From my perspective and relative to the topic of this post, there needs to be a re-examination of the concepts of labour, work, reward and production. The efforts of the past have taken us so far, what comes beyond here needs new foundations. The future will happen whether we want it to or not, whether we plan for it or not. The thing we can change is the shape of it. We need to get a clear grasp of first principles and the external forces currently and imminently constraining our choices. Work is what feeds, cloths and sustains us. Our societies are both possible and the result of our cooperative enterprise and vision. How we work from here on out is what will determine our societies and our lives. I will start by examining the whole construct and philosophy of work – how does our society work? – pun intended.

Look out for my next “Work” related Posts.

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More Charles

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“Peak Food”: Agriculture Cartels, Oil, and Seed Patents

C H Smith

September 22, 2009

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Global agriculture is fraught with an extraordinary concentration of vulnerabilities, some due to the control of cartels.

I recently contended that much of household income flows to a handful of cartels

The same can be said of the source of most of our food: global agriculture -Let’s consider a few of the issues involved.

1. Efficiencies. Economies of scale favor large global enterprises, so the emergence of cartels is to some degree a reflection of “scaling up” production to lower costs.

2. Profits. As Marx observed, competition leads to consolidation: weaker competitors are muscled out or bought out and mature industries consolidate into a few hands.

Competition is simply not profitable: monopoly generates the highest profits. Capitalism does not favor “free markets” as is widely assumed, but the destruction of free markets. Thus “monopoly capital” is the preferred goal of capitalism as it eliminates the risks of competition and maximizes the returns via price-fixing.

Globally, various corporations have sold goods at prices lower than the cost of production to drive competitors out of business. Once the field is cleared, then prices jump.

If a complete monopoly isn’t possible, then a cartel will do; competition is reined in to the margins and profits fluctuate within “safe” boundaries.

3. Genome patents. Just as overly-broad software and digital patents end up stifling innovation, the wholesale patenting of plant genomes is threatening to limit seed stocks to a monopoly or tiny cartel of patent holders.

4. Dependence on oil/fossil fuels. While agriculture’s dependence on fossil fuel feedstocks for fertilizers and oil for transport/production is well-known, what few consider is how Peak Oil could drive Peak Food.

Without massive quantities of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and cheap liquid fuels for transport, how much would global crop yields fall? The extreme vulnerability of high-yield grains to disruptions in oil and the stranglehold on hybrid seed stocks is poorly appreciated.

The irony is that the efficiencies which drive economies of scale also create long, inherently fragile global supply chains and various systems with low redundancies: that is, a high dependence on a few suppliers and transport lanes.

Risk and return are intrinsically bound. If we move to lower risk with redundancies (backup systems, hedges, etc.) then costs rise and returns are lowered. If we maximize returns with scale and ruthless efficiencies then we reduce redundancies to near-zero and thus heighten the system’s vulerabilities to disruption.

Global agriculture has become extraordinarily productive but at the “cost” of rising dependencies on a handful of suppliers and resources. Peak Food is not on many analysts’ radars; maybe it should be. 


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New Zealand is fortunate at least that there is ample capacity in our country to feed ourselves. What is less fortunate is that our agricultural surplus is what provides much of our foreign trading income (followed by tourism). Any breakdown in the world economic order, particularly anything due to peak oil considerations – will dramatically affect our biggest industries and our biggest earners. We wont starve, but we could become severely impoverished.

PB

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More economic bumf for those that like reading this sort of thing.

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The Financial Sector – Paragon or Parasite

By Nick Smith

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/blogs/nick-smith/

One of capitalism’s articles of faith is that financial markets are the most efficient and effective means of ensuring that capital is put to its most productive use.

This piety, in the wake of the global financial crisis, is now in doubt….

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(What to change)

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Policing roles – expanded.

The roles and rationales I outline in the previous post on Policing need to be expanded and explained further. So I am doing so in this post. I will start with something of a definition of policing from my perspective.

Policing is about ensuring the rules (laws) are followed. The provenance, wisdom or utility of those laws in another subject entirely. In this instance, all we are going to be concerned about is the promotion of conformity to those rules and the sanctioning of any breach of them. Sanctions for breaking the law in, the policing context, amounts to detection of illegal actions and the apprehension of perpetrators. Currently the Police also handle prosecutions before the courts as well. Defined like that, policing is a fairly limited and specific role of no great complexity – detect illegal activity, then arrest and charge the offenders. However, it is a critical function and one that needs to be done promptly, comprehensively and effectively. Our biggest law enforcement problem at the moment is that failure to effectively police, actually promotes crime. As long as crime pays and you can get away with it, then there is no reason to stop and every reason to continue and expand. Until there is no money or satisfaction to be gained and until you can expect that illegal activities will attract a police response, the crime rate will continue to grow.

Some crimes you are never going to completely eradicate, crimes of stupidity, intoxication, passion and opportunity will always be with us. These just have to be reported, followed up, investigated and prosecuted, what you might call the baseline crime rate. But that is not such an overwhelming burden to deal with, it is an isolated and individual circumstance. We have to accept that such things are going to happen, they can’t be realistically prevented and we will just have to as a society and individuals pay the cost. What does become a burden are the crimes that happen over and over again, recidivist offending and organised offending, crime as a business. That is something that keeps grows bigger and bigger because it can, because we have let it, because it pays so well and because the risks of being caught are so slim. That is a phenomena that we have to succeed in short circuiting and eliminating, and which at present we are failing miserably to achieve. That is where policing needs to be given focus and depth, because the cost of this type of offending is far greater than any other and because it is actually eminently preventable. We literally can’t afford to continue to get this wrong, in human lives and in wasted time, opportunities and money.

But enough of the theory, lets get onto the practical applications – Policing Roles:

Beat and patrol – I have no idea to what extent having officers wandering up and down roads and cruising around the streets in cars is actually useful. However, it doesn’t hurt and means that during any given shift there are officers spread throughout the community and some-one should be close enough to respond quickly to any incidents. It is good for the public to be able to see a visible presence, both as reassurance and as deterrence. How many staff are needed for this is one of those, suck it and see/benefit of experience, sorts of things. Also for new recruits it probably serves as good initial training and experience. We can leave that to the Police Command to evaluate and resource.

Community policing – Much in line with the above points, it gives an opportunity to learn the community, and for the community to act as a source of intelligence back into the police. This all ties in very intimately with: ethnic relations and youth education. The Police can only realistically and effectively perform their job with the consent and good will of the community. A significant part of their job must revolve around building links and connections to the many distinct sectors of society. That involves spending time with community groups, educating and recruiting from across a diverse spectrum.

Criminal investigation – I am defining this as the detective branch of the Police. When a crime has been committed, there needs to be experienced officers who can analyse the situation, pursue an enquiry and direct the needed resources to containing and resolving any incidents.

Criminal intelligence – this is related to and ties in with investigation at several levels, but is also continues on from it. This is about building up databases, intelligence and surveillance of known recidivist offenders and of organized crime. Done properly, there should actually be advanced knowledge of criminal activity, criminal networks and planning for coordinated responses.

Armed offenders – I am not keen on the idea of arming all Police officers. But there does need to be systems for dealing with armed offenders. In general the NZ Police actually seems to do a pretty decent job of handling this sort of situation. The recent introduction of tasers seems to be working out very well. And also with firearms incidents, the policy of contain and defuse seems very effective. Offenders are more often than not Mad rather than Bad, so shooting isn’t a terribly desirable outcome, although that option is still available too. My biggest concern is that the Police don’t seem to be terrible proficient weapons handlers. Increased expertise there would be nice. Time and budget issues? Focus and depth?

Police dogs – In this day and age, apparently one of the Police’s best tools for certain jobs is still the Mark 1, 4 legged constable. Fair enough, carry on.

Drugs – unfortunately this ties in with a whole raft of other social issues and higher order debates on laws and legislation – just to confuse the issue. In the meantime, the situation as it stands on the ground has to be dealt with. Particularly because this is a leading factor in organized crime and in international criminal involvement. This has to get major attention and resources. It also needs a radical policy reassessment from the top down, but that is not a policing issue, beyond that it would be very wise to seriously consider Police recommendations.

E-crime – This is a huge area and is only going to get bigger. But unfortunately it is basically white collar, non violent and out of sight and hearing, so doesn’t attract attention or urgency. That will have to change, the Police need to be actively investigating. The IT criminal investigation division should be one of the major sections of the police force and resourced appropriately. What it doesn’t really need is 6 foot tall burly constables. It needs computer nerds and there should probably be a distinct and separate recruitment and career advancement pathway for these people into the Police force. Also, due to the nature of computer technology and the computer industry, it would probably benefit from having a flexibility in respect of people entering and leaving the job. Recruitment would need to be done on expertise and that is something the Police would need to be able to hire in as required, realistically they will not be able to handle training of officers in all the required specialist sectors. An Email crimes division would not look anything like a traditional Police dept, it would need to be managed and overseen by experienced Police staff, but the rest of the personnel would look essentially civilian.

Financial, serious fraud, banking and commerce – Much of the comments made above about E-crime are equally relevant here. What’s more this is my particular peeve. All the street crime in the country doesn’t even begin to compare in costs to what goes on in the commercial and business sectors. The observation that, behind every great fortune is a great crime, is much too true for comfort. Unfortunately the rich and powerful have historically been able to buy and influence their way out of trouble. I have a profound desire to see these crooks banged up. When the IRD dept is pursuing the major banks for hundreds of millions of dollars of liability that they seem to have managed to avoid paying, I would so like the Police to be very intimately involved in investigating and prosecuting to the full extent of the law. This sort of thing needs to result in company directors and officials facing criminal convictions and imprisonment. Not just a finding of fault against the corporation, the payment of a nominal fine, and then we are all back to business as usual. That state of affairs has gone on for far, far too long and needs a huge cultural change. Businesses and business men need to be liable, investigated and prosecuted effectively and quickly when they start to get far too clever by half. They cost the rest of us hugely, but up till now they have able to get away with it because there isn’t the systems in place to expose and sanction them. We currently only find out something of the extent of this type of crime when the most egregious examples of theft and fraud can’t be hidden any longer and the consequences vomit up all over the rest of us. If we can manage to get on top of street crime in this country, then the commercial criminal investigations branch would likely end up being the biggest part of the Police Force.

International – Drugs, E-crime and Financial offending all inherently have international aspects. This raises all sorts of legal issues and complications. So trying to deal with crime on purely a local or national jurisdictional level simply isn’t going to work. The NZ Police are going to have to have the personnel, experience and expertise to work in conjunction with foreign police forces and with diplomatic and political issues. To date this seems to have been handled quite well, but it will continue to be an expanding consideration for the future. Has this currently been adequately resourced and planned for? I have no idea personally, lets hope so, it will certainly need to be in future.

Interpol – Again this ties in with the previous section. Albeit, Interpol is a specific international organization and treaty obligation. These impose specific requirements on the NZ police and conform to a distinct international legal formula. Therefore it needs a specific degree of resourcing and attention.

Fingerprints – Well, police take fingerprints don’t they, its what they do. In some respects this is more a forensic function, or a prosecution function, so might perhaps be better allocated there, but in one respect it is specifically a core policing function too. It is a integral part of the Police investigation and intelligence operations. It is all about the Police building their database of knowledge. That being the case, it needs to stay firmly within the Police orbit.

That’s it for now with the purely policing roles,

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Now lets have a quick look at those other roles that could profitably be moved elsewhere.

NB these would still need to be handled in liaison and conjunction with the Police

111 Emergency – communications centres – Apart from dispatch, which is a policing function, the rest of this is about operating a call centre. Banks do it, computer companies do it, even the Automobile Association does it. When the Police emergency telephone system was first set up there wouldn’t have been anything like this in existence at the time. But times have changed, call center and help desks are ubiquitous, this is a role that can be contracted out.

Counter terrorism – Army

Diplomatic protection – Any appropriately licensed security company

Firearms – I am taking this to relate to the licensing and vetting of – refer next item

Licensing and vetting – contract out, any large accounting firm in conjunction with a security firm can administer this role

Missing persons – contract out, security and private investigation firms

Forensics – currently already done by crown research laboratories anyway by my understanding, carry on.

Traffic – this is almost all minor infringement stuff. In conjunction with some judicious law amendments, most of this could be passed over to the Land Transport Dept. The Police would still have jurisdiction to intervene in some cases, such as dangerous driving, and injury accidents for instance.

Search and rescue – dive – National Guard/Civil defense

Statistics – Statistics dept

Prosecutions – diversion – bail – I am proposing a separate dept for prosecutions, involving a State Attorneys office and an investigating Magistrates Office. (I will develop that all further in another post)

Victim support – Citizens advice bureau

Maritime – National Guard, Coast Guard, Fisheries dept. Police officers would probably be seconded for liaison duty and coordination as required.

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If I can think of any more things I will add them at a later date

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(What to change)

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Mortar_firing

Power projection – fire support

This wont be news to anyone in the army of course, but the new prince of the battlefield isn’t new at all. It is the 120mm mortar. Technology has moved along and suddenly an old piece of dumb technology has been transformed into high-tech, with PGM’s, GPS, electronic controls and tied into networked C3I systems.

It is not as lightweight, rugged and simple as it used to be, but it is much more effective and gives a level of organic fire-support capability to the infantry that they have never had before. It also has the potential to replace a number of current systems.

at4cs

Why hump around rocket systems on the backs of infantrymen when the requirement is for being able to project force, that makes no sense at all. The rocket simply launches the explosive warhead, the infantryman doesn’t need to transport that as well. That projection or launching can best be done from a fire support base, just like artillery. Up until now, artillery was too expensive, heavy or cumbersome to be easily moved or tasked to cover infantry in the field often times. The mortar is now stepping into that gap in a much more effective way than it has previously.

320wi

The range of modern mortars has grown out to 5, or even 10 thousand metres. That means your troops need never be out from underneath your support umbrella, day or night. Like having airpower, this gives you overhead support, the high ground from which to fight. So, if you maintain always the principle of “Point and Cover”, the frontline infantry can patrol out into the field on Point, and the Covering element can set up with with a couple of mortar tubes from a secure location, ready to drop accurate and heavy fire onto any enemy location.

goggless_rb56

The Comms gear available now and in the future means that the actual terminal guidance of rounds can be in the hands of a frontline soldier. The fire control unit (firing post) of the standard antitank missile system doesn’t need to be mounted on the actual weapon, it can be remote, compact, light and easily man portable.

Javelin3

Even better, the weight of munition can be much higher than is possible to carry on the backs of your infantry. So all the range you will ever need is available without having to carry it, and likewise for the power of the warhead. All at a size, weight, cost and effectiveness that means it will be available as and when it is needed. The infantry can perform the classic, and basic, rifleman function without having to also assume the role of pack mule.

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The queen of the battlefield has a complimentary companion, a prince, the mortar. Heavy artillery will always have its place, but a quicker and lighter version is now available to provide organic, immediate and effective firepower support.

a107 bexpo

avab aA120mm_

bmortar astryker

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