Snitch Britain Part… Oh, Sod It, I’ve Lost Count

Once again, the snooping busybodies are being actively encouraged to report their neighbours and friends to the police. This time the excuse is drink driving.

A motoring organisation has criticised a drink-drive campaign which rewards people who report offenders with payments of up to £200.

The RAC is opposed to this idea, which is good. Don’t get me wrong, drinking and driving are not a healthy mix. Alcohol adversely affects one’s ability to control a motor vehicle – even in small amounts and I would always advise total abstinence if you are planning to drive or ride. However, I don’t like the idea of it being a specific offence and I don’t approve of crackdowns such as this one. Far better to use the weight of the law as a deterrent. Sean Gabb once posited the idea of simply using the offences against the persons act as a punishment for those who caused death or injury while intoxicated at the wheel. There would be no need to worry about limits and no specific offence – but get it wrong and you go to gaol for ten years. I’m inclined to agree with him. We need less legislation, not more.

But what I really despise about this campaign is that it yet again encourages us to dob in our neighbours. Frankly, I don’t care what my neighbours get up to as I’m far too busy minding my own business to notice, I won’t be calling the police, because I am sick of this continual propaganda trying to get us to become informants. The Gestapo did it the Stasi did it, now, it seems the UK state is doing it and I’m not playing.


  1. Having been on the receiving end of dobbers inners I agree with you.
    I was falsely accused of benefit fraud by son local dogooder who felt I was cheating the system, all I got was tax credits which I was entitled too but I was still dragged in for interview under caution. I have never been so humiliated in my life as I have never so much as broken the law once.
    As for the snooper I still have no idea who or why, because i kept myself to myself and no one knew my business.
    People should mind their own …. and not make assumptions when in fact they know nothing.
    All this sort of scheme does is encourage those with no lives and a spiteful nature to make other peoples lives a misery.

  2. So if your neighbour regularly comes down your road in thier car pissed as a fart it’s not of interest to you? When one of them mows you or one of your children down, or smashes into your parked car will you bother to report it then?

    I agree nagging people to report is out of order but please don’t tell me you care so little you would just let that pass.

    • I wouldn’t know if my neighbour is as pissed as a fart because I don’t take any notice of what they are doing – it being none of my business. If they cause an accident, then they have committed a crime and I would expect them to be vigorously prosecuted for it -irrespective of what is in their bloodstream. Until that time, none of my business and I certainly would not go to the police based upon me “thinking” they are pissed, because unless I breathalysed them, I don’t know if they are or not.

    • If the neighbour regularly came down the street driving in a careless or dangerous manner then you would notice and would be perfectly legitimate in reporting the careless driving (although speaking to them about it first would be the decent thing to do, with reporting being a last resort). The police should initially do nothing more than “have a word”, especially as there would be no real proof of any offence.

      A belief that somebody has had a drink is a different matter entirely, especially as it may turn out to be a false belief.

      Imagine if I snitched on you for believing you possessed a gun. Even when proved false, you will have been subjected to a fair degree of hassle in the process. Perhaps even more hassle if you did, in fact, own a (legal) air gun – compare this to the possibility of somebody who has had a drink but is under the limit.

      Also, how does the payment thing work? Payment for simply making the report will lead to totally false accusations being made for financial gain. Payment only upon successful conviction leads to giving a third party an undue interest in the outcome of a court case and may, in extreme cases, promote witness intimidation or even drink-spiking.

  3. You (and Sean Gabb) make a very good point. Numerical limits are a very bad thing for so many reasons. Different people have hugely varying alcohol tolerances and even for a given individual these vary widely from day to day based on all manner of factors. Worst of all, however, is that breathalysing gives the police a supposedly-legitimate excuse to randomly stop and hassle people when there has been no allegation of a crime being committed. And now this “snitching” culture too, setting neighbours and friends against each other and creating an environment where nobody trusts anyone.

    Certain rural pubs have been known to be “staked out” by undercover police intending to follow customers to determine whether they are driving or not. The result was to make them a less attractive place for all customers, including the majority who had no intention of driving – nobody likes the feeling of being spied on. This is yet another factor which has contributed to the decline of such pubs.

  4. So, Longrider, you’d be happy for someone to come screaming down your street every night in an APC, tanked up on a lethal cocktail of drugs and booze, firing an AK47 from the hip into people’s windows whilst singing the Horst Wessel Lied through a loudhailer before slamming into a petrol station and creating a fireball that immolates a coach full of sad-faced ginger orphans and sets light to an adjacent old people’s home?

    Call me a snitch but I’ll claim my £200 thank you very much.
    “999, which service do you want?”
    “Police please, I want to report a drunken driver”
    “Hi, there is a drunken driver in an APC who’s set fire to an old people’s home”
    “Oh, God, where is this?”
    “Not telling you until I get my £200”

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