20 september 2005

Police Vouchers (The Flemish Beerdrinker)

Here’s a radical proposal, and it’s not coming from a right-wing think thank:

The fact is that the police fail the poor. Poor areas often suffer much more crime than richer ones, and the poor - especially blacks - are more likely to be harrassed by the police. The police would rather play games with drug dealers, attack demonstrators and protect politicians than serve the poor. There should, therefore, be more demand for radical reform. One possibility would be for the government to allocate police vouchers. People could then use these (possibly along with cash) to vote for their preferred suppliers of police services at a borough level. This would permit private firms to compete alongside the established police, or allow people to vote for the bundle of services they want from the existing police force. They could allocate x% of the budget to stopping graffiti, y% to catching drug-dealers and so on.

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