Written by Mudwizard
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Topics: Books, Library

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Police officers can now lawfully shoot those who mock the library fine system. "In some cases during the summer several thousand library books were not taken back on time throughout England. This is totally unacceptable, anti-social behavior which we are now at last able to address", the Inspectorate of Constabulary said today, "We can now deploy water cannon, plastic bullets and, if we have to, live ammunition".

This could be justified given the "immediacy of the risk and the gravity of the consequences", said the Report, which calls for a new framework for policing public libraries. It suggested water cannon and plastic bullets could be considered to deal with dissidents who do not bring back books on time. "We suspect that they are still reading them, and may even be learning stuff from them. We are seriously concerned that people are getting a free education whilst others have to pay huge fees to go to university.Compared to university fees a few pence fine is nothing. In a just 'Big Society' this is unacceptable".

There was uproar that the plans, which involved shooting suspects in the head, hadn't been publicly discussed. It's with this in mind that the Inspectorate of Constabulary is calling for a "mature debate" about what tactics should be available to police in instances of library fine default and when they could be used. The inspectorate wants clear rules of engagement on the use of plastic bullets, water cannon and firearms - clear to the police and clear to the public.
"It's a delicate area, but the inspectorate is trying to be realistic. If there's mass reading of overdue books going on and police can't respond because they are outnumbered, other tactics should be considered to restore order and prevent free education".

The report recognised water cannon as an "effective means of dispersal" which incur fewer injuries to the public in static and slow-moving scenarios but conceded they could make the pages of books a bit soggy. There is another worry about 'shooting defaulters in the head'; blood and brains could leave persistant stains on the books which by the nature of the criminals involved are likely to be in close proximity their heads". The report said that while current guidance already allowed the use of force, however, commanders are currently prevented from using some of the more forceful tactics due to a lack of training and resources, "most of our officers have never seen, let alone read a book - so we clearly have a 'recognition' scenario on our hands", he went on to say, "We have asked Waterstones to provide training".

David Cameron said, "It is these people, getting an education on the cheap, avoiding university fees, that are forcing us to close libraries across the county. We cannot just stand by and see this happen", he went on, "Once upon a time...

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