Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Things about crime

  • Cracking down.
    South Philly is about to become a "zero-tolerance area" for 30 days, with swarms of police stepping up patrols and arrests in an attempt to cut off the year's increased crime rates there. Zero tolerance means jaywalking and probably loitering, so it could be a bit over-the-top, but plans are to expand the program city-wide in the new year. How much is this likely to really deter crime, versus merely creating the impression that Something's Being Done?

  • Keeping an eye on the police.
    Tom Ferrick notes the case of a police officer who clearly has problems with violence, and links the failure to discipline him more successfully with the ongoing need for oversight of how the department polices itself (see prev. here). Again I wonder about those who fear the effects of sunlight...

  • Controlling guns.
    1. The Inquirer reports a rare piece of gun-related legislation that has actually passed in Pennsylvania: a new law allowing the confiscation of guns from domestic abusers. A somewhat remarkable coalition of gun-control and gun-rights group supported the measure.

    2. Meanwhile, a group of Philadelphia activists went to Harrisburg to pressure legislators to act on a limit on gun purchases (the oh-so-burdensome one per month maximum). They want every legislator to individually go on record on this bill in the next month, presumably so that the voters can judge those views for themselves in the coming year.

  • Other bits.
    1. Continuing the theme of increasing confidence in the gambling oversight boards ensuring our future, PA's top casino regulator appears to have ripped off the previous state that she worked for. Alternatively, she's the victim of a smear in retaliation for outing some official corruption there. eep.

    2. A man in Cape May, NJ, is challenging the state's sexual offender residency restrictions, which are making it practically impossible for him and his family to relocate. It was just a matter of time -- some towns are so small that there *aren't* any houses far enough away from the public school. Such laws also make no distinction between repeat pedophiles and one-time statutory offenders, which makes them even more unfairly punishing to some of those affected.


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