Heavy-Handedinjustice; the Red Tape Appears to Be Slowly Choking Us All

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), February 13, 2004 | Go to article overview

Heavy-Handedinjustice; the Red Tape Appears to Be Slowly Choking Us All


Byline: PHIL REDMOND

ENFORCEMENT.This week's news that the Chief Constable seeks more cash for extra police officers should be supported as,hopefully,it may be a recognition that more people,not technology,are best at enforcement.

Basically,if you want to get tough on the causes of crime, you first have to understand those causes.Unfortunately, if you do, you soon realise two conflicting things.

Human beings,like technology,are fallible but human beings, unlike technology, can make humane judgments.

Bearing this in mind,I was interested in two recent and similar statistics. That 45pc of all fines in magistrates' courts are not paid and,coincidentally,on average the police spend 45pcof their time on paperwork. Bearing in mind the old adage ab out Lies,Damned Lies and Statistics, they do seem to support the suspicion that policy makers'blind faith in technological solutions is partially a result of trying to tackle the red tape that appears to be slowly choking us all.

The more rules and regulations you dole out, the greater the bur den of enforcement.

The greater the bur den, the greater the bur eaucratic procedures and the more chance for things to fail for technical, rather thanjudicial, reasons. This then starts to erode confidence in the system, which leads to the hunt for more efficiency,andhence the faith in technological pay-as-you- go no appeal fines. …

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