REVIEW | Abolish the Police? (POI Podcasts #5)
This week, in episode five of the POI podcast, we reviewed the increasing call to abolish the police. We build on a thought-provoking article by Jack Walton, undertaking his case for abolition, and possible alternatives. Our speakers were: Jack Walton (Labour), Ellie Roberts (Conservative), and Max Anderson (Liberal).
A competitive debate this week, we first looked at the case for abolition. Is the police force an unwelcome hangover from our sordid past? Is it simply unneeded, with the vast majority of crime never dealt with?
Unsurprisingly, our Conservative voice was not convinced, and likened the proposal to “a pool without lifeguards”. Is abolition too idealistic? A suggestion that, if followed through, would unleash chaos.
Our Liberal voice trod the middle ground, advocating for neither the status quo nor abolition, but for reform. However, what will these reforms be?
Furthermore, is it a mistake to talk about British and American police forces in the same breath? The American-borne Black Lives Matter movement has come to British shores, but what issues do we have in common with our cousins from across the pond?
Naturally, there was also consideration of alternatives. If our police forces were to be disbanded, what would tackle crime? Would there be an emphasis on community policing, or perhaps preventative measures? Do any of these stand up to scrutiny?
Genuine disagreement makes for the best debate, and we certainly had that in spades this week. A fast-paced, free-flowing exchange of opinions, it was certainly enjoyable to moderate. Even if you have never heard the cases for or against abolition, this episode is a must-listen. You can catch the podcast here.
Written by Podcast Host, Alexander Dennis
Hello, I’m Alexander Dennis, and I am going into my third undergraduate year at the University of Exeter. I study Politics & International Relations, with a possible year abroad hanging in the balance. My particular interest in politics really started in early 2016: yes, it was ‘Brexit’. I was at once intrigued, and confused, by something so critical. From that baptism, I have become somewhat addicted to political discussion, intrigued by issues ranging from drugs policy to taxation. So I followed my nose: I applied for a degree in the subject.