Some worried hand wringing regarding languid law enforcement is presently taking place in California. Over the past few years criminal arrests have declined dramatically there to a level reportedly unseen in half a century.
My initial reaction to that assertion was virile skepticism. They had to be talking about a 50 year nadir in arrests per capita. Huge population increase and replacement would surely preclude a raw reduction. The 1970 census of California showed a majority white population of 20 million. The 2010 census reflected a “minority” majority population of over 37 million. If arrests were actually down between those two dates in absolute terms, then police have been in the vanguard of that state’s cocoanut transition. And to my amazement, they actually are. California’s 1.1 million arrests in 2015 (I don’t know the whereabouts of 2016 figures) are the lowest totals since 1966 when the state was approximately half its present population. So either they’ve been invaded by elderly Japanese or there’s some impressive law enforcement lethargy afoot.
A great deal of the linked article is devoted to officialdom’s efforts to deemphasize this declining figure in favor of more malleable metrics such as “community health.” Presumably containing the mumps virus would be sufficient to counterbalance anarchy on the streets under this holistic policing evaluation.
But to the rare credit of the Times, their piece did linger on the possibility and implications of a “Ferguson effect.” This being an inclination of officers to avoid impeding the foraging of criminal dindus out of the calculation that doing so could result in a media mobilization to destroy their lives. Thus it’s far preferable to watch diversity send a white liberal’s teeth clattering to the pavement than risk their accusations of racism by intervening. It’s not an unsound judgement.
But California’s retreating arrest figures are probably also pressured by another layer beneath police disincentives. Here’s my hypothesis: As a population A is replaced by population B, the resulting society will gravitate toward those social characteristics and metrics native to population B. This transition will occur heedless of cartographical markings, documents in the national archives, or any mantras and incantations to the contrary. As exotic as it must sound, as California becomes Mexico, so too will its crime and law enforcement profiles.
So I tried to find comparative arrest rates for Mexico, but apparently none are maintained. What I did find was that only 4.5% of reported crimes in Mexico are investigated, only 1% go to court, and the criminal conviction rate for homicides is 1.8%. Another source cited prosecution rates by country, with America’s figure being 140 times higher than Mexico. None of these are direct comparisons to arrest rates even if all are completely accurate. Though if crimes are being investigated, prosecuted, and convicted at fractions of American levels, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming that arrests in Mexico are also occurring only between lengthy siestas. What does this suggest for California?
It likely suggests that criminal arrests in California are on a very long downward slope.
Every current social dynamic is pressing against enthusiastic policing. The Ferguson Effect and anti-police liberal preening, low trust and poor communications between legacy law enforcement personnel and insular alien colonies, increasing officer ennui and disinterest in protecting these same foreign sprawls, and finally worsening budget constraints and subsequent patrol reductions as proportionally fewer white taxpayers exist to subsidize a first-world police apparatus. For California libs, it’s the future they chose; and I couldn’t be happier for them.
But for those interested in more than just a flattering eulogy, it is critical to absorb anthropology’s iron law: Pakistanis bring Pakistan; Somalis bring Somalia; and Mexicans bring Mexico. And all their criminal and law unenforcement habits come with them. But sometimes it’s hardly fair to cast blame on drowsy cops–have you ever tried to solve a crime without fingerprints?