This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Community safety helps create wealth

I am engaged in an ongoing debate on twitter about UK debt/deficit and whose 'fault' it is. (It was Moody's downgrade of the UK to AA1 that prompted this, naturally.) Of course in the end it is nobody's fault as such and I am not so partisan as to say that everything would be rosy if Labour were in power. Equally I hope (apart from the ConDem party mouthpieces) most people would understand that the economic difficulties arise from a world recession and were not made in the UK.

But, to put all that to one side, this tweet from one the debaters intrigued me:

I profoundly disagree with this notion that public sector are merely a costly drain on resources which are all created by private industry. I tweeted back:

For me it is blindingly obvious that for any nation's economy to thrive, public services and private sector industry are required. Policing (for example) is not just a necessary public expense, good policing adds to the economy by helping people be and feel safe. The police tackle crime and fraud which surely not even the most extreme pro-market capitalist would want: crime and fraud are bad for business! Community safety helps business to grow in conditions of low crime and high public confidence. Similarly education equips people to start and grow businesses. (And so on)

So please can we move beyond this stale argument about public sector costing private sector growth?


  1. Anonymous24/2/13 17:10

    What's the difference?...public sector is there to spend money...whilst the private sector is there to make money. One cannot survive without the other, private sector need healthy, well educated employees who can get to work safely and without fear of crime, threat or disturbance but the stark reality is one sector of society is a "money spender" whilst the other is a "wealth generator"...unless and until society recognises the need for both there will always be the "them and us" approach to the economic status along with the belief that some in society don't add value if all they do is "spend"!...macro/micro...public sector are big spenders of all our friend got into hock for being too generous with her credit card!...did not make her a bad person just rubbish with money that was not hers!

    1. Not sure if we are disagreeing or agreeing - but I see the whole system - the money spent on public services allows other parts of the system to make profits - just like in a business spending money on recruiting people means you have staff to do the work... It all connects. Public services are an investment from which we all benefit.