10 comments on “Police on bicycles

  1. You talk alot of sense, sense that the majority of people in this country can well understand, we seem to be a very poor 4th largest world economy. Having said that, I presume the top three economies include the USA, Russia, China ??? The disparity of healthcare etc., amongst those populations is there for all to see. Not that, that fact takes anything away from your premise, as already stated we, the population, recognise these anomalies about our economy, the problem is we, for some reason, can’t be bothered to stand up and shout about it, and damn well force the government to do something to change these disgraceful facts. Sadly, I believe it’s down to apathy, and the old phrase: ” I’m alright Jack “.

    Coming now to ” Police on bikes “, it sounds grand, and the fact is we already have a criminal element of ” yobs on bikes “, who can be seen at all hours of the night, on bikes without lights, in hoodies etc., trawling around looking for trouble or something to steal, or a drunk to mug. Until something happens the police just ignore them, they have ” rights “, and quite frankly the police don’t want the hassle or the paperwork. The whole police /justice system needs to be redressed, to start with the victims’ rights, but once again that takes us back to the need for the majority to do something about it, and sadly, yet again, we’re back to that apathy problem. Summing up we are in the throes of overwhelming apathy, and I’m very despondent for the future.

  2. Thanks Welshcyclist, I agree. It is apathy but it is also ignorance and stupidity promoted and sustained by an untrustworthy news media, whether broadcast or print, who are more interested in soundbites and selling newspapers and in feeding us their opinions, rather than researching and reporting facts. There are a few honourable exceptions but again, as the song says, “Too few to mention”.

    How can things be changed? I don’t know but it gives rise to a lot of interesting “what ifs?”. For example: What if we all wrote “none of the above” on our ballot papers at the next General Election?

  3. I’ve just dug out the numbers. The six largest economies (by GDP – i.e. value of everything produced) are US ($12,417bn), Japan ($4,534bn), Germany ($2,795bn), China ($2,234bn), UK ($2,199bn) and France ($2,127bn). Fast growth in China means it overtook us last year (as far as I remember). Italy comes next, and some way down from France, so although differences in the way this is measured, exchange rates and so on can change the ranking quite a lot, we are somewhere in the top half dozen on pretty much any basis. For example, adjusted for purchasing power, China ranks second, and India fourth, but we remain sixth, just ahead of France.

    However, I think for this kind of stuff you really want to compare between people who live in different countries, rather than between countries, so you need to use income per head.

    On that basis we rank sixteenth (whether it is adjusted for purchasing power or not). The reason for the lower rank is that there are lots of relatively small, relatively rich countries such as Luxemburg, Qatar, Norway, Switzerland, etc that overtake us in the ranking.

    On the subject in question, I guess that what we should really compare is the level of government spending overall, or government spending on police. But to discuss that is to enter some murky waters that we should probably steer clear of.

  4. Thank you GOM1 for all that information. All very interesting. However, as a simple soul, I find it rather inconclusive. Is it possible to say whether UK Co Ltd makes a profit each year (per head of population for example) and how do we compare with USA Inc. and the others you have mentioned?
    I often wonder whether the apparent complexities of such questions aren’t perpetrated for the sole purpose of keeping us in the dark.

  5. To my mind that’s the problem (and the beauty) of putting numbers on this stuff. The questions it raises are far more interesting than the answers it provides. As far as I know there isn’t really a concept of countries making a profit. All the money disappears somewhere. But there is a fairly well established way to measure how well-off we are. The average American is about 20% (finnacially) better off than the average Brit, and the average Brit is about 10% better off than the average German or the average Frenchman. Swedes, Danes, and the Dutch are about the same as Brits. Norwegians about the same as Americans.

    But are they happier?

  6. I could daydream about those few facts for hours! For example: If your everage Norwegian is about as well off as the average American, but without starting any wars and without joining the “Common Market”, shouldn’t this tell us something about where we persist in going wrong?
    Sorry. It’s me beng simple again. Interesting though.

  7. Back to your original theme, as far as I can make out…

    Total length of roads in England & Wales = 338,385km
    Total number of police officers in England & Wales = 141,892

    That works out at 2.4km of road for each police officer (about 1.5 miles). If you add in special constables it’s about 1.3 miles each. Police officers in Wales cover about twice the road length covered by police officers in England (2.8 miles compared to 1.4).

    (Road lengths based on Dept for Transport figures; Police numbers based on Home Office figures)

  8. I believe we get the media we deserve, the vast majority of papers/ magazines etc., are not bought to obtain factual information, they are consummables, used by a worryingly large section of the population, to gain titulation and gossip about the rich and famous. Changing this sad state of affairs is now not possible, “what if we all wrote none of the above”, at the next election. Nothing, because the people who actually turn up to vote are in fact the minority, far too few people give a damn, about anything. Sorry to be so negative, but we are all in a real mess.

  9. Welshcyclist: Though in general I tend to agree with you, I am not quite as pessimistic. Perhaps I will continue this theme in a new post, though I would prefer to start a new blog for topics such as politics, religion, modern values etc. as I have promised myself that I will not spoil this one with too many rants. On the other hand, others blog about those topics so much better than me.

  10. GOM1, thanks again for the statistics. OK, so take away from the 141,892 police officers all the brass hats, all the Coppers In Disguise, the specialists like dog handlers, drug squad, fraud squad etc., even motorised traffic officers and those manning the vans, take away another figure to account for those on holiday or sick leave, another to allow for those manning police station desks or writing their reports,and divide the remainder by hewever many shifts the police work in a 24-hour period, and you should be somewhere near the number of officers actually on the beat at any given time. I reckon the answer is about three.
    One of those is my local community policeman who, incidentally, has a bicycle. I have caught sight of him once only in the past eight months.
    I still maintain that more police on bicycles would be a Good Thing – but first I think we need more police.

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