SCOTLAND'S police forces have issued a stark warning that they will have to cut the number of officers unless more funding can be found.One proposal is to charge for policing the likes of Orange Order parades:
The largest police force, Strathclyde, is facing an "absolutely dire" funding gap of up to £34.7 million in 2010-11, it said. By 2013-14, it could hit £66m.
The cost, which cannot be recovered from such organisations as they are non-profit-making, was compared with the £60,000 bill for the three recent Take That concerts at Hampden Park in Glasgow, which the event promoters met.There's a certain degree of philosophical confusion here: everything humans do is designed to improve our lot. I fail to see why the police should differentiate between activities in which the expected benefit is expressed in monetary terms or otherwise.
In an anarcho-capitalist society things would be very straightforward. The owners of streets would decide the terms of entry, of use and of any additional charges that may be levied to police any unusual events that may be allowed.
But we don't live in an anarcho-capitalist society, unfortunately. In our state-controlled society I'm very uncomfortable with the police having powers to charge some people for their services and not others.
What we should be looking at is levying financial charges against those who break the law. Charge criminals (properly defined) with the costs of their arrest, trial and any necessary restitution to victims.