There had been that Weapons Law, for a start. Weapons were involved in so many crimes that, Swing reasoned, reducing the number of weapons had to reduce the crime rate.
Vimes wondered if he'd sat up in bed in the middle of the night and hugged himself when he'd dreamed that one up. Confiscate all weapons, and crime would go down. It made sense. It would have worked too, if only there had been enough coppers - say, three per citizen.
Amazingly, quite a few weapons were handed in. The flaw, though, was one that had somehow managed to escape Swing, and it was this: criminals don't obey the law. It's more or less a requirement for the job. They had no particular interest in making the streets safer for anyone except themselves. And they couldn't believe what was happening. It was like Hogswatch every day.
Some citizens took the not unreasonable view that something had gone a bit askew if only naughty people were carrying arms. And they got arrested in large numbers. The average copper, when he's been kicked in the nadgers once too often and has reason to believe that his bosses don't much care, has an understandable tendency to arrest people who won't instantly try to stab him, especially if they act a bit snotty and wear more expensive clothes than he can personally afford. The rate of arrests shot right up, and Swing had been very pleased about that.
Admittedly some of the arrests had been for possessing weaponry after dark, but quite a few had been for assaults on the Watch by irate citizens. That was Assault on a City Official, a very heinous and despicable crime and, as such, far more important than all these thefts that were going on everywhere.
It wasn't that the city was lawless. It had plenty of laws. It just didn't offer many opportunities not to break them. Swing didn't seem to have grasped the idea that the system was supposed to take criminals and, in some rough and ready fashion, force them into becoming honest men. Instead, he'd taken honest men and turned them into criminals. And the Watch, by and large, into just another gang.
Excerpt taken from 'Night Watch' by Terry Pratchett, Doubleday Books, 2002.
There's not really much to add to that, beyond my deep sadness about Pratchett's alzheimers, my immense respect for his work and my recognition of one of the greatest English satirists of all time. If you've not read any of his work, then you really have missed out.
I will say though, his point about taking honest men and turning them into criminals is particularly apt.
Doctors in the UK should tell police every time they treat a victim of gun and knife crime, new guidelines from the General Medical Council will state.
One would imagine the next step would be for the threat of prosecution against the victim if they don't tell whodunnit. Then:
Just goes to show that you do not belong to you. You belong to the State.
They are also told they can breach patient confidentiality by giving police information if they believe a crime has or will be committed.
If a patient is diagnosed with a genetic disease doctors will be able to tell relatives, without consent.
Leg-Iron writes about Underdogs today, and he's right. When the Underdog bites, he'll bite you in the soft fleshy parts, and it will hurt.