the Disillusioned kid: Nottingham: not all bad
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Nottingham: not all bad

Longtime readers may recall that I went to uni in Nottingham and was really quite taken by the city. It's got a bad rep, but for the most part it's undeserved. I did have the misfortune of being mugged, but I wasn't hurt and if that's the worst thing that ever happens to me I'll count myself lucky. I certainly didn't get shot. The same of course can't be said of PC Rachael Brown who was shot while investigating a burglary on Lenton Boulevard. Dan who lives on Radford Boulevard and who's home is inside the police cordon has the story from the ground along with his personal reflections.

While reading through the copious verbiage already afforded to the story, I was disturbed to discover that somebody has already written an article using the incident to justify arming the police. Intriguingly, the piece is entitled,"Pc shooting sparks police arms call," but provides little evidence to support this claim. The author avers, "The shooting of Rachael Bown, a probationary officer, is sure to reopen the debate over whether British officers should routinely be armed." This is as maybe, but it's one thing to suggest that such a debate is likely and quite another to claim that it is actually taking place as the headline implies. Later the report claims that anonymous "campaigners said that police need to be armed to properly defend themselves and the public." (Unless of course "the public" have "Mongolian eyes".)

An increasingly militarised state won't make us any safer and doesn't even begin to address the underlying causes of gun crime in Nottingham. Generally speaking, gun crime in Nottingham is fuelled by drugs (apparently its on the route down from Manchester to London) and drugs crime feeds off poverty. The law and order mob don't like to face up to this because of the inevitable effect it will have on their own social status. On another front, community efforts like Nottingham Stands Together, organised following the murder of Danielle Beccan perhaps point to a less state-centric response to the problem of gun-crime in the city.

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