More police, more crime

Shild asks a reasonable question:

I would really appreciate some evidence for this claim:

“They [the police] don’t stop crime, in fact, it is demonstrably provable that they don’t even slow it down.” (VD).

Non-anecdotal, if you please.

Although JQP rightly leaped all over Shild’s flawed logic – it is based upon the idea that, although the police do not stop crime given how they usually show up after the fact, they prevent future crime by putting people in prison, which rests upon the demonstrably false assumption that crime does not take place in prison – I don’t regard it as being proper to denigrate someone without first providing them with the courtesy of a direct answer to their question. And if no direct answer is possible, then a reasonable and plausible explanation for the impossibility should be provided in its place.

In summary, I recommend to:

1. First, answer the direct question in a substantive, non-evasive manner.
2. Then show that the question is irrelevant anyhow.
3. Then deride their character, creed, heritage, sporting team preferences, physical attributes and/or sexual orientation. (optional)

But since points 2 and 3 have already been taken care of in one form or another, I shall content myself with addressing the original question, and I shall do so thusly:

September 18, 2006 – Washington, DC, USA

Washington, DC: Police arrested an estimated 786,545 persons for marijuana violations in 2005, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is the highest ever recorded by the FBI…. Annual marijuana arrests have more than doubled since the early 1990s.

Policing efforts, by every measure of manpower and money, have increased from 1990 to 2005. However, the amount of crime as represented by arrests have increased by 140 percent in fifteen years, while also increasing as represented by the growth in the percent of the population currently using illicit drugs, from 6.4 percent in 1997, to 7.1 percent in 2001 and 8.1 percent in 2005, according to the annual National Survey on Drug Use & Health.

Ergo, the police have not only failed to stop this particular crime, they clearly have not even managed to slow down the rate of its commission, which is increasing at a rate of 26.6 percent even as arrests increased 22.6 percent over the last eight years.

And their manifest failure to do so despite the vast quantities of resources being provided to them for this very purpose raises serious questions about their actual impact on the commission of other crimes, the prevention of which is often, erroneously, credited to them.