Thursday, 2 July 2020

Wage Theft and Defund the Police

The British Are Coming

In the UK wage theft cost workers and the economy about £2.7 billion a year [1]. Wage theft is where employers steal money from their employees by not paying them for all hours worked or not giving holiday required by law. Those who suffer most are typically amongst the poorest and this is money that would have gone directly back into the economy, as well as feeding hungry children and reducing the burden on benefits. Those affected, if they even know, have recourse to an employment tribunal but it's not something the police are interested in.

Meanwhile, shoplifting in the UK (2016-2017 figures) costs British retailers about £500 million a year [2]. Shoplifting is substantially done by drug addicts which is totally unnecessary and caused by the inhumane and immoral way we treat drug users, who are also substantially comprised of the traumatised and the socially marginalised and disadvantaged.

So wage theft, in terms of disruption to the UK economy, is a massively more serious problem than shoplifting. Shoplifting is done by the poor, wage theft is committed against the poor. Which do we criminalise and set people trained in violence, the police, to deal with?

Meanwhile benefit fraud is estimated to cost the UK about £1.3 billion a year. Tax evasion is estimated to cost the UK around £34 billion a year [3]. How many more police are working on catching benefit fraud than tax evasion, which crime do we criminalise and pursue most vigorously.

A recent report into stop and search use in Northamptonshire found that if you were black you were five and a half times more likely to be stopped and searched by police [4] than if you were white. In response to this Northamptonshire police decided to give all police officers tasers [5].

In 2015 over a million police hours were spent on enforcing the cannabis prohibition [6]. Seizing property, ruining lives, throwing people in prison all at great cost to the economy in lost business and destroyed property and the cost of enforcement. Meanwhile relatives of members of the government make fortunes growing and exporting cannabis [7] whilst denying this medicine to everyone else.

And that's before we talk about things like the 35 000 people working for the police who haven't been vetted or checked [8] and the many complaints of high rates of domestic abuse by the police [9].

These are the sorts of reasons why there are calls to defund the police. They're not working for the majority of people, they're working for the rich.



"There is a great harvest of unwilling believers to be  had" -- Joshua the Christ, apocryphal

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