4 years ago
Just the fact that there will be fewer cops will be constantly used as an excuse, a crutch, to pawn the blame off the increasing crime rates.
Pay attention to the news: It happens all the time. Urban politicians will, among other convenient consequence-free taboo-free blowback-free excuses that they spout, rely on the "bawk not enough cops" or "bawk we need more cops" bromides. Yes, Lyda Krewson, I'm looking at you, too.
The reason why it's nonsense relates to a concept that economists, accountants, auditors, financeers and other business types know so well: Relevant Range.
If there were zero beat cops, and it was understood that there were none, then that would actually cause violent crime to go through the ceiling. If there were twice as many cops as there are civilians in London, and the cops didn't have to worry about civil rights provisions, then of course that would cause violent crime to fall through the floor. However, here in the real world, those two scenarios are outside the relevant range of reality. (Say that 20 times in a row really quickly.) In reality, there will be a certain minimum number of cops on the London Metropolitan Police Service, because of politics, and there will be a certain maximum number of cops on the same Service, because of budgetary concerns. And, they will generally be subject to some wise and some unwise constraints on their ability to wield power and force.
It is my assessment that, no matter the number of London cops that there are, the number will always be within the relevant range of neither being able to cause violent crime by being too low or prevent violent crime by being too high. To put it another way, here in the real world of London circa the current year, violent crime is going to be what it's going to be, and caused by the various factors that cause it, and the precise number of cops won't make any difference either way.