Do Police Prevent Crime? More Police Better?

Who prevents a crime targeted at you from happening? Most people would answer, the Police. But do police really prevent crime? How often has a police officer stopped a home invasion? What about a mugging? What about a bank robbery? How often has a police officer stopped a murder from happening? Or a fight from breaking out in a bar? Unless they happen to be in the right place and the right time, it’s unlikely they could prevent any crime from happening.

Usually, people call 911 because a crime has already happened. Folks who live in nice neighborhoods aren’t “crime free” because a large number of police cars are constantly patrolling the streets. If that were the case, the city of Compton in California would be one of the safest cities in the country. The reason some neighborhoods are nice has more to do with the common civil morality of the people who live there. Not because of the large police presence.

cartoon about criminals reading no guns allowed sign

The police usually arrive on the scene after a crime has been committed so they can collect the facts, write a report, and file it with headquarters, while the lawyers determine fault in the courtroom using the before mentioned police report. This may be all fine and dandy provided you or your loved one isn’t dead as a result of the crime. After all, a guilty verdict on your assailant isn’t going to bring your loved one back to life and probably won’t return a vast majority of your stolen property.

It’s rare that the police prevent a crime from happening. They would have to be everywhere, all the time, just as someone was about to commit wrong-doing. That means on your property, in your house, in a convenience store, along every mile marker on the highway, in dark alleys, in hotel rooms, in the park. The police know this, and many departments are requesting residence install video camera’s outside their homes and business as a form of constant surveillance. Not to prevent crime, but to make gathering the facts after the crime has been committed, easier (Source: WSBT)

It really boils down to one thing. You are the first responder when a crime is being committed against you or your family. If a robber breaks into your house, only you can stop them from assaulting your family members. If a rapist enters your home, only you can stop them. If a thief tries to mug you, only you can prevent that from happening. It’s extremely unlikely a police officer will be anywhere close enough to actually respond to the crime and stop it from happening. It just takes too long for them to arrive in these situations. The average response time for a police officer is about 12 minutes in a major city, far greater in a rural area or if they happen to be tied up with other business. A lot can happen in 12 minutes that can affect the rest of your family’s life, forever.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not bashing the police. They do a job that most of us would never chose to do, and provide a great service, but the burden of your safety is not entirely their responsibility. That burden is mostly your responsibility.

There are many ways one can protect themselves. Most would probably choose to run when possible, and that’s a very good idea if given the opportunity, but there are times when running simply isn’t possible. Especially if you have elderly family members, kids, and loved ones with you. Some might choose to barricade themselves in a room, call 911 and wait for the police, hoping nothing happens until they arrive. Others choose to take up martial arts, or some other form a self defense class to thwart an attacker or an attempted rape. This will work when your attacker is unarmed, weaker than you, and you don’t happen to be outnumbered. However, the greatest equalizer for any attack is a firearm.

Strangely, the federal government — whose main purpose for existing is to protect you — doesn’t like you to own firearms and many suburban police departments feel the same way. In fact, a good chunk of law makers and police departments would prefer them to be illegal. Gun control advocates want to burden law abiding citizens with so many gun regulations, rules, and laws that it becomes too cumbersome to own a firearm or greatly deters people from wanting to own one for fear they may be locked up in prison for the rest of their lives. Why is this? Why does our government not want us to defend ourselves? I think it probably has a lot to do with dependence and has nothing to do with safety.

The perplexing misconception regarding gun ownership among law makers and gun control advocates is the notion that guns are responsible for violent crimes. This simply isn’t true. Violent crimes will occur whether guns are legal or illegal. In Great Britain, guns have been illegal since 1998 and yet they have a violent crime rate that is 7.5 times greater than the United States who has the second highest gun ownership rate in the world. Criminals will always find a way to purchase weapons, purchase drugs, and break the law. After all, laws don’t stop criminals from breaking the law. No gun law is going to stop a violent criminal such as a gang member, robber, rapist, or burglar from acquiring a firearm and using it. Laws against gun ownership will only stop the law abiding citizens who don’t break the law from being able to acquire one for self-defense.

police prevent crime

Even more baffling are the arguments against concealed carry permits. Many states grant concealed carry firearm permits on a “may issue” basis, which means the city will issue a permit only if they think you need one. Is it fair to let someone else decide if, and when, you will defend yourself and your family?

Why are the law makers making it difficult for the law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm when they know the criminals are walking around concealing all sorts of weaponry? The law-abiding citizens who have concealed carry permits are not the ones contributing to gun violence or committing crimes. Currently, Illinois is the only state that does not allow conceal carry permits. They rank #2 out of all 50 states with the second most gun crimes, just below Louisiana (Source: This isn’t to say concealed carry laws lower gun crime, but it does show prohibiting concealed carry doesn’t deter gun crime either.

So, if the police rarely stop crimes from being committed, and the law-makers don’t want you to defend yourself or your property with a firearm, what are they suggesting you do instead? I don’t want to rely on 911 where I’ll have to spend 5 minutes trying to explain to the dispatcher that someone is about to stab me with a knife or shoot me, then wait another 12 minutes for the police to show up (another 15 after that for the paramedics), then fill out a police report (if I’m lucky enough to still be alive) stating someone tried to kill me and they ran off with a bunch of my things and part of my liver.

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