The Brits Are Really Losing It

Banning welcome mats...

Families living in a flat block have been told to remove welcome mats from their porches because they are a health and safety risk.

They have also been told to remove pot plants because they create trip hazards and fire risks.

Residents at the block in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. say the items have never caused problems.

...and implementing Castro-style block watches

In partnership with regional chapters of the charity group Crimestoppers U.K., multiple local police forces have launched a program called "Too Much Bling? Give Us a Ring." The object of the program is to encourage people who suspect that a neighbor or acquaintance is living off the proceeds of crime to anonymously provide information about that person to the police...

A key component of the "Too Much Bling?" program is its effort to tap into any resentment and anger members of the public may feel toward suspected criminals.

In a release issued by the Sussex Police Department, which used the program to help seize more than £1.5 million between April and December of last year, Detective Sergeant Mick Richards said, "Members of the public are sick and tired of seeing people with no legitimate income living a lavish lifestyle. We are working hard towards taking the cash out of crime making use of all the powers granted to us under the Proceeds of Crime Act and other legislation.

"I am very aware that in these difficult times how disheartening it is to see people 'flashing the cash' when you know that it has come from a life of crime and that they appear to be 'getting away with it,'" he said.

  • Doug

    I rather like the idea for this country. If implemented, we could easily take out everyone in Congress and the Senate. How, pray tell, can a certain US president, whose entire career consisted of "community organizer," suddenly become a multi-millionaire only months after he enters the Senate? Indeed, too much bling goin' on there in Congress.

  • James H

    Furniture inside the flat is also a fire hazard and trip hazard. Once you start on this slippery slope, it's a very long fall. Utensils can be dangerous, and don't forget that if you drop a plate on your toe you could break it. Sometimes people slip in the tub as well.

  • Michael

    There are people in the US working on the furniture problem. From coyote:

    In Alabama it is illegal to recommend shades of paint without a
    license. In Nevada it is illegal to move any large piece of furniture
    for purposes of design without a license. In fact, hundreds of people
    have been prosecuted in Alabama and Nevada for practicing "interior
    design" without a license. Getting a license is no easy task,
    typically requiring at least 4 years of education and 2 years of
    apprenticeship. Why do we need licenses laws for interior designers?
    According to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) because,

    Every decision an interior designer makes in one way or another affects the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

  • Michael

    I can understand the welcome mat issue. When you think just how invasive the British government has become in the daily household of its citizens, I'm sure there are few welcome mats that actual say "welcome."

  • Bob Smith

    I wonder how one "knows" that your neighbor is living off the proceeds of crime.

  • ElamBend

    I wonder what kind of due process you get if the police come and seize your bling. What do you have to do to prove you have it legitimately?

  • Dr. T

    "I wonder what kind of due process you get if the police come and seize your bling. What do you have to do to prove you have it legitimately?"

    We have this in the US. Cash, cars, boats, and homes of anyone that law enforcement believes has earned money by selling illegal drugs are seized every day. Seizures often occur without proof of wrongdoing or without charges being filed. Citizens who attempted to prove their innocence (a bit backwards, isn't it?) and reclaim their property have always failed. So, if a local cop dislikes your but really likes your SUV, he can tell his chief that you were selling cocaine packets from your SUV. If the chief agrees, the cops swoop in, take your SUV, and add it to their cache of confiscated goods.

    Our situation seems worse than what the British face. At least they investigate before confiscating "bling."

  • Michael

    At present the Brits fly unmanned aircraft over the houses of their people with infrared cameras to get a heat signature so the government can impose higher taxes on them. At night, vans drive around scanning each house for electronic devices that can pick up radio waves so the government can impose higher taxes on them. On average, a person in London is photographed 100 per day by the government. I know of many in the UK that are on dial up so they can't access internet resources. The people of the UK don't even get the chance to have some bling.