Monday, November 27, 2006

Crimethink On The Rise

The police are putting together a database of men who are most likely to commit crimes in the future (here). In an extraordinary step, this will allow the police to single out people who fit a profile of potential criminals. In the words of Laura Richards, a senior criminal psychologist with the Met's Homicide Prevention Unit, "“My vision is that we know across London who the top 100 people are. We need to know who we are targeting... There are some pretty dangerous people out there, so you need these risk models to wheedle them out, separate the wheat from the chaff". Why am I not surprised? One more step on the road to totalitarianism. It all sounds very reasonable, sensible even, until they're knocking at your door.

"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed—would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper—the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1

1 comment:

Vol Abroad said...

You know what this is really all about - all those Top 100 are previous offenders. Instead of being worried that the police are monitoring them (which they should be doing through MAPPA - multi agency prolific and persistent...something or other) you should really be concerned about why they're not still in jail or were let off with cautions.

Sure there are scary examples of thought-policery, but I don't think this is one of them.