Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another difference between the UK and the USA

I've always liked that joke about the US and the UK being two countries separated by a common language. One of those "you laugh because it's funny, and you laugh because it's true" kind of thing.

Obviously, there's another differences as well.

Take the sanctity of the home. Apparently in the UK kids can throw rocks at your home for two hours before the police show up, and if you try to chase them off the cops will arrest you.

"My wife called the police at 6 o'clock.

"They just kept on throwing stones through my back gate.

"I left the back door open to stop them smashing it. I have two kids and if one of those stones hit them it could have caused some really nasty damage.

"Suddenly a really big rock came crashing into the kitchen.

"I just grabbed the stick, which was the nearest thing I could find, and chased them off.

"The police turned up just as I was chasing them."

Retired Mr Davis said Pinehurst West was under constant attack from gangs of unruly teenagers and he feared for the safety of his sons Peter John and Jimmy Lloyd.

"One of my neighbours had a seven-month-old baby in their kitchen, when a brick came through the window," he said.

"It showered glass across the baby's face.

"Something needs to be done to stop these kids. They are out there almost every night."

Check the comments in that article as well. Interesting reading from this side of the pond.

You've probably heard of the case of Joe Horn down in Texas. He's the guy that saw two men breaking into his neighbors house. He confronted them in his yard and killed both of them with a shotgun.

As you may also of heard, under Texas law the shooting was legal. Horn's lawyer sums it up:

"I think the evidence showed that Joe was, in fact, within his legal rights to do what he did. He didn't want to do it, but he didn't have any other alternative," said Lambright.

So in two cases the police weren't present to deal with crimes in progress. In the UK, attempting to chase off a gang of kids throwing rocks gets you arrested. Here in the states, you can kill thieves on your front lawn.

In both countries, it's unrealistic to expect the police to be everywhere at all times and to prevent all crime. That's just silly... no system is perfect.

At least here in the states it's not legally required to be a victim.

1 comment:

TchoTChoWrangler said...

The UK police are spread pretty thin especially for forces which include larger towns or large rural components as a result Police prioritise calls much like triaging patients.

What we have here was probably considered a case of vandalism, so low priority. I had the same thing a few years ago when fireworks being set off by kids were hitting my house, the police didn't actualy send anyone until the next day.

One way around this is to phone 999 tell them you require police, then put the phone handset down (not, hang up) and don't say anymore. Because they don't know what the issue is they have to assume the worst and come and investigate - go figure.

Alternatively ring 999 then tell the police your going outside to confront the little sh*ts with a cricket/baseball bat guaranteed result because now the crime isn't vandalism its assault.

Really we could just do with more police. I was told once the US has twice as many law enforcement officials than the UK per 1000 head of population. Which was I was told and indication we were more law abiding, whereas actually I tend to believe it simply means we're not prepared to spend enough money on law enforcement.