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“This is the first time we are seeing… a conversation about defunding, and some people having a conversation about abolishing the police and prison state. This must be what it felt like when people were talking about abolishing slavery.”
– Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter.

Abolishing the Police (An Illustrated Introduction) is both a contribution to this conversation and an invitation to join it. It provides rigorous and accessible analyses of why we might want to abolish the police, what abolishing them would involve, and how it might be achieved, introducing readers to the rich existing traditions of anti-police theory and practice.
Its authors draw on their diverse on-the-ground experiences of political organising, protest, and resistance to policing in the UK, France, Germany, and the United States, as well as their original research in academic fields ranging from law to security studies, political theory to sociology to public health.
Without assuming any prior specialist knowledge, they present the critical tools and insights these disciplines have to offer to ongoing struggles against the injustices of policing.


  • @Ed Hayward-Broomfield
    i didnt think i would be required to spoon feed you, this appears to be a topic you haven’t taken any time to read up on. you ask this as if there is a definitive quick answer when obviously there isnt where a reply is time laborious for me to break down. It just feels as if this is not really a question, it’s that you are setting out the idea that there is no alternative. Yet there are various resources you could read to fill that gap instead of coming into this thread and making other people make all the effort while you sit back and belittle my answer. So go read The End of Policing by the publisher’s verso books who would adequately spoon feed you everything you need to digest.

    Its pretty sucky to state that i didnt answer your question. Firstly it comes across as you defending the current institutions in a way that says well "because that’s just how it has to be" as there will always be an imperfect system and this is the best it can be, which part of less then 8% of crimes being solved sounds like law and order or reacting to it? to refer to it as imperfect is reductionist at best and ignorant at worst. To think there are no alternatives highlights the limits of your imagination.

    When you state I didn’t answer your question lol is that you seeking to antagonise me as i sent an article highlighting an alternative to prisons in the Uk/America, showcasing what is happening in the Netherlands and how an alternative is possible and what it could look like. you actually have the lowest crime rate and lowest levels of reoffending. The Netherlands rehabilitation is making it possible through a space in which treat prisoners as human beings with potential for change by investing in these individuals providing upskilling in a similar way to a university creating alternative paths in which they can follow which literally sums up my argument before where much of crime is linked to poverty, lack of opportunity and resources. If you implemented this you are challenging and eradicating a broken prison system. Prisons would no longer be facitiies to profit from which the vast majority of prisons are in the uk and America as they are privitised. By making it state owned they would have to implement the same as above eradicating the need for people to have to reoffend in many cases.

    One has to acknowledge the conditions of this racist police system. Where the vast use of excessive force is against marginalinaised communities, where stop and search racially profile and the excessive uses of force on children who happen to be black, 50% of children who were tasered by the police in the uk and yet minorities make up less then 13% of the population of great Britain.


    If the police are fundamentally racist (which they are) you would be required to abolish it and create something entirley new, community based, transparent, accountable and utilising expertise of said professionals to tackle the vast array of issues from sexual harassment to sexual abuse/ rape, domestic violence all of which have expertise in these areas that can be utilised and tapped into such as social workers, community leaders, physycologists, councilors a vast array of so much more then brute force in which the police an apathetic organisation demonstrates. In one of the Brazilian cities there is a police force entirely created by women dealing with sexual assult/domestic vioelnce that doesnt take much imagination to create a compassionate force that can have better outcomes then the misognistic structures that are common place here where 80% of rape victims do not even report rape. so again you create roles utilising expertise in various feilds to offer an alternative. Community care networks and justice structures rooted in restoration rather than punishment. Defunding police authorities and reinvesting in communities that are most affected by structural inequality is an approach.

    A good example is the “8 to Abolition” plan put together by young organizers and scholars. This campaign includes defunding police authorities. It also encourages decarceration, accessible housing, and decriminalizing Black, Brown, and poor communities.

    Policing works in part to manage and perpetuate inequality, especially racial inequality. we need to scrutinize our state and local budgets, educate ourselves about what police do versus what we need to be and feel safe, and realign the budget and our social programs to better serve our public safety needs. We start this process by rethinking what we mean by public safety and by questioning our assumptions about when and why law enforcement is the right vehicle to address a problem.

    If we were to better support social programs, we could likely negate the need for any response from anybody because we could prevent problems from developing in the first place. For example, there is research showing that programs for kids in preschool, combined with family interventions, can reduce crime. It is in everyone’s interest to fix problems at the front end rather than waiting until they result in harm.

    Other responsibilities, such as investigating homicides and intervening to stop ongoing violence, could remain with a “law enforcement team” although even here some communities may want to change the names on who does this work and should incorporate proven strategies that are transparent to prevent racial profiling allowing for community prevention of crime/harm.

    So yes, defunding the police to some extent to then transfer those reposnibilities to other organisations. and find many that don’t need to exist at all. Once we begin to undertake this inquiry, we quickly see that there are some things that police are doing that nobody should be doing, such as enforcing laws that criminalize poverty and addiction, arresting people instead of issuing citations, writing tickets to raise revenue rather than protect the public.

    In order to reduce crime it requires states to provide resources and investment but that isnt going to happen all the while capitalism is used creating such depravity and poverty in our society. an exploitative system where crime is always a natural consequence for people to survive in a society like this.

    When you look at children who are expelled from school there are fast tracks to prison as a consequence to those from deprived backgrounds. living in tower blocks council housing where these minorities are referred to as gangs when hanging amongst their friends as all the local community resources have been completely debleated due to austerity over the past 10 years. the only effective way proven in London to prevent gang violence and drugs was through community resources which again I’m sure you unaware of. which an organisation i worked within called NME no more expulsions highlights the failure of educational instatutes failure of government, failure of judicial system and failure of police. once again tell me where law and order operate in a society where people from the most underprivileged parts of society unable to access any opportunities end up falling into gangs and drugs, as soon as they are arrested no school ever lets them back in preventing them having any other option
  • @Ed Hayward-Broomfield hey Ed, here's a sample chapter that I hope explains some of the thinking behind the book https://abolitionistfutures.com/latest-news/practising-everyday-abolition
  • @Raafaye Ali Thanks for the digest, but that doesn't answer my original question nor does it offer any replacement policy to the current status quo. Imperfect as any system will be, having a system of law and order and its implementation is as much about prevention of crime as it is reacting to it. If you remove the system what you do replace it with? Would you expect citizens to administer law and order themselves?
  • @Ed Hayward-Broomfield out of curiosity did you know shes quoted a book which littrally answers your question? or did you not realise shes refferening a book? its fairly easy to see how prisons in britian and in america are largely privatly owned linked to the pursuit of profit, higher sentances given to marginalised communities and working class highlighting deep issues governments refuse to alkowledge as the impact of poverty. america more then anywhere perpetuating mass incarsiation utilising slave labour from prison population, a vast sway of those incarsirated never allowed to vote and if you link the vast population who are thrown into prison through the strike rule regardless of how minor the crime it really highlights instatutional racism. one could look at dutch prisons which are at an all time low compared to anywhere around. linked is an article which pretty much highlights alot of what is clear: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/12/why-are-there-so-few-prisoners-in-the-netherlands

    as for the police, they are ill equiped to deal with sexual harrasment, sexual assult, domestic vioelnce or the vast array of racial abuse as they themselfs are routinely underminding and bellitling the experiences of victims. The police has demonstarted on multiple occasions its insatutionally racist as stephan laurance has demonstrated as well as the fact that out of all the deaths in police custody in the uk no officer has ever been charged. imagine giving a huge budget to a broken system and assuming it will be the solution for all of the vat array of issues evident in society, any rational indiviual would seek to utilise experts in their feilds to tackle said issues, understand their own biases and seek to unlearn their preconcieved perspectives before going out on 999/911 calls and yet the disproportiate use of violence used against those who are mentally unwell has lead to loss of life because the person with mental health issues was not obeying the comands of the police officers who then in various cases brutalised them and died in their custody from their treatment. the police evidently dehuamnise through their bias against racial groups and economic groups based in tower blocks and council estates, yet when it comes to white collar crime there is no where close to same amount of police in the pursuit to tackle such issues. do you kno the amount of homicides and robberies that have been solved is so abissimal it would blow your mind at how incompetant it makes the police sound. imagine any other profession with record lows as this.

    Out of a total of 85,736 offences of robbery, but a 3% fall in burglary. (2019)

    3.8% for sexual offences have been solved or some one has been charged, that includes sexual assult and rape, previous year it was 7% of rapists were convicted and 2 years before that it was 13% of rapists were convicted.

    5.4% criminal damage has lead to some one being charged. in total of all crimes commited only 7.8% have been where a suspect has been charged. that isnt even to state they have been proven guilty. (2019) in 2018 it was 9.1%, 2017 11.2%, 2016 13.1%, 2015% 15.5% again this is just charged not that they were proven guilty.

    so out of interest i wonder what you will think will happen if the police and prison is kept as it is?
  • @Ed Hayward-Broomfield the book looks at possible alternatives, as well as the history of policing as we know it. It also focuses on ideas that challenge our attitudes to punishment in everyday life - it's not as cut and dry as it may appear and is really worth a read

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