Kiwi Polemicist

September 22, 2008

New Zealand Police can’t even catch rogue cyclists

An article in today’s NZ Herald cracked me up.

Yesterday there was a gathering of cyclists who want pedestrian and bicycle access added to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Some of them made their point of view known in a spectacular way…

Dozens of cyclists staked a claim to the harbour bridge yesterday by riding across it to a rally of 400 pedallers and walkers on the other side.
Organisers of the Getacross rally, called to push for bridge cycling and pedestrian paths, said the illegal dash over the southbound clip-on at 1.20pm was by a “rogue” faction.

Although this was illegal it was done in a safe manner, with a vehicle shielding the rear of the group. Here comes the cavalry…

Police cars racing over the bridge were too late to stop the protesters, and officers made no arrests after rally organisers assured them there would be no return ride.

Next the Herald makes the police sound very sensible and tolerant, but I think you’ll find that in reality the police had no way of identifying the culprits so they went into butt-covering mode, with just a touch of sternness as befits a policeman…

Acting Sergeant Martin Beeby said the stunt appeared to have been conducted in an orderly fashion, and “there was no harm done”. But he noted that cyclists risked $250 fines for riding on a motorway.

That would explain why a cyclist who spoke to the Herald refused to incriminate himself by giving his name…

The man would not be identified apart from calling himself a keen triathlete and frustrated commuter wanting his children to inherit a right to ride across the Waitemata.

The moral of the story is this: a socialised/State police force can’t even catch rogue cyclists, despite having powerful cars 😆 . If we had private police forces as advocated by classical liberalists*, the police would want to keep their customers happy (just like a shop wants to keep its customers happy) and they would have a financial motive for catching lawbreakers, unlike the State police who get paid the same regardless of how many criminals they catch. If you’re not happy with the service supplied by a plumber you call a different different plumber, and if you weren’t happy with the service supplied by a private police force you could hire a different one: the profit motive would keep private police forces on their toes just as it keeps plumbers on their toes.

**********

* see also For A New Liberty by Murray Rothbard.

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