The lovely, razor sharp, eagle eyed, Collie concentrated Staffordshire alerts us to a simply incredible, though not very surprising, story that the Metropolitan Police have been issued with a set of guidelines listing Home Educators as a group who are ‘at risk’.
Give me a flipping break.
Here is the background. There is, apparently, something called a CRAM (Child Risk Assessment Matrix) that the police use to do who knows what, since they routinely fail to do the right thing when it comes to any of this.
Someone wrote to the MET (Metropolitan Police) with a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) asking just how the HELL (Has Everyone Lost Logic) they came up with the entries in this ‘matrix’. Wait for it, you will not BELIEVE their rationale:
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
1 November 2010
Dear Mr White
Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2010090003147
I respond in connection with your request for information which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 19/09/2010. I note you seek access to the following information:
This request for information under the Freedom of Information Act refers to an article on the Community Care website, and in particular to the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM). See: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/static-pa….
My questions are as follows:
1. Was an Equality Impact Assessment undertaken in respect of the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM)?
(a) Which definition of ***disability*** was used to determine its inclusion as an alleged risk factor in the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM)?
(b) What evidence base was used to determine the inclusion of ***disability*** as an alleged risk factor in the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM)?
Please supply copies of all evidence used by the MPS to justify its inclusion as an alleged risk factor. 3. “Home educated”
(a) Which definition of ***home educated*** was used to determine its inclusion as an alleged risk factor in the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM)?
(b) What evidence base was used to determine the inclusion of ***home educated*** as an alleged risk factor in the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM)?
Please supply copies of all evidence used by the MPS to justify its inclusion as an alleged risk factor.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you in full.
At question 3 you asked: “Home educated”
(a) Which definition of “home educated” was used to determine its inclusion as an alleged risk factor in the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM)?
The MPS response is: No specific definition of home educated has been used. The concept/designation in its widest generic understanding is used.
(b) What evidence base was used to determine the inclusion of “home educated” as an alleged risk factor in the Child Risk Assessment Matrix (CRAM)? Please supply copies of all evidence used by the MPS to justify its inclusion as an alleged risk factor.
The MPS response is: A number of children throughout England and Wales have suffered from neglect in circumstances where they are home educated. These cases have attracted both local and national comment and some have been the subject to serious case reviews. The absence of a child from a conventional school environment where staff are routinely trained in safeguarding responsibilities can in some circumstances lead to that child being in a more vulnerable situation and at a higher risk of neglect or abuse. No specific individual case evidence has been relied upon for the inclusion of this category.
“We read something about this in the newspapers, and so we threw it in for good measure.”
Of course, anyone who has been paying attention (and why on earth should the police be paying attention to this? they have enough of their own problems without having to do very nasty, immoral social work) knows that in fact, Home Educated children are SAFER than children at nurseries and state schools.
Now to get to the title of this post.
In a Libertarian space, the job of protecting people and their property, which is the ONLY purpose of the police in a free society, would be done entirely by private police forces, that are directly and completely accountable to the people who pay subscription fees to them:
Another common objection to the workability of free-market defense wonders: May not one or more of the defense agencies turn its coercive power to criminal uses? In short, may not a private police agency use its force to aggress against others, or may not a private court collude to make fraudulent decisions and thus aggress against its subscribers and victims? It is very generally assumed that those who postulate a stateless society are also naïve enough to believe that, in such a society, all men would be “good,” and no one would wish to aggress against his neighbor. There is no need to assume any such magical or miraculous change in human nature.
Of course, some of the private defense agencies will become criminal, just as some people become criminal now. But the point is that in a stateless society there would be no regular, legalized channel for crime and aggression, no government apparatus the control of which provides a secure monopoly for invasion of person and property. When a State exists, there does exist such a built-in channel, namely, the coercive taxation power, and the compulsory monopoly of forcible protection. In the purely free-market society, a would-be criminal police or judiciary would find it very difficult to take power, since there would be no organized State apparatus to seize and use as the instrumentality of command. To create such an instrumentality de novo is very difficult, and, indeed, almost impossible; historically, it took State rulers centuries to establish a functioning State apparatus.
Furthermore, the purely free-market, stateless society would contain within itself a system of built-in “checks and balances” that would make it almost impossible for such organized crime to succeed. There has been much talk about “checks and balances” in the American system, but these can scarcely be considered checks at all, since every one of these institutions is an agency of the central government and eventually of the ruling party of that government. The checks and balances in the stateless society consist precisely in the free market, i.e., the existence of freely competitive police and judicial agencies that could quickly be mobilized to put down any outlaw agency.
In a Libertarian space, there would be no police working on CRAMs, victimless crimes like smoking in pubs, ‘underage drinking’, speeding, dance parties or any other harmless activity that had nothing to do with the protection of people and property.
Education, childrearing, fostering and everything to do with you and your lawfully created or acquired private property would not be the business of the police, unless someone tries to steal your property from you or invade your property or you are foolish enough to try and steal from someone else, i.e. kidnapping.
Once again, Libertarianism provides a clean solution to a bad problem; you can have security AND Liberty in it, where the police are freed to do only what they are meant to do, and you can live without fear of discrimination, vilification, slander or persecution simply because you, as a responsible, loving, diligent, intelligent, above average and willing to sacrifice parent, want your children to be educated to the highest possible standard.
Note once again, the way things are now, you have no way to stop the Metropolitan Police from wrongly and arbitrarily classifying you in their CRAM as a potential abuser. You have no way to stop them from using this information to target you, discriminate against you and to harass you. If you are harassed by them, you have no avenue of redress unless you are wealthy (and of course, they would not even approach you if you have a good postcode, say in Belgravia).
In a Libertarian police system of competing forces all vying for your business, paid for by voluntary contributions, no police force would engage in this sort of blatantly discriminatory and absurd behaviour because there is no money in it.
What would it look like I hear you think… Imagine the National Trust, only instead of looking after historic buildings and land, they police. It would cost as much as belonging to the National Trust, would be as nice as them…
Whats not to like?