Being a police officer is a lot like being a fisherman. Like catching fish, if a police officer wants to catch a criminal they can try techniques like hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling, and trapping. But these days there are regulations to consider. Even if they reel a criminal in, police will have to measure and weigh the criminal to make sure they can keep them. This has led a joint police task force to create a new and innovative catch and release policy. This is a conservation technique to make sure that criminals don’t disappear from over-policing in areas where crime is present. Police have stated that this will ease the cost of jailing criminals.

Hand gathering is the most difficult method of catching criminals. They are slippery and can be difficult to grasp by hand. Criminals will often flee on foot, or by using a getaway vehicle. If police do manage to catch one by hand then they will have to deal with varying degrees of physical struggle until the criminal tires itself out.

Police catching criminals for fun have accepted the idea of releasing the criminals while policing in so called “no arrest” zones. Community activists have advocated this catch and release program as a way to ensure sustainability of crime rates and to avoid over-policing of criminal activity. Some criminals have been deemed “too valuable to be caught only once” by police.

good improv police
The joint police task force who devised the new catch and release program.

In Canada catch and release is now mandatory for many types of criminals. Canada also requires, in some cases, the use of lock-free hand cuffs to facilitate release and minimize injury to the criminal. Canada recently stated that “We’re sorry, but no-one may cause a criminal pain, suffering, or harm for any reason eh.” Some police in certain parts of America unfortunately still avoid using lock-free hand cuffs because of the erroneous belief that “too many criminals will escape” but thankfully the numbers of police who believe this are decreasing.

Over the last few decades there has been study after study on the development and refinement of science-based practices to increase the likelihood that released criminals will survive and thrive once released. Effective catch and release policing techniques avoid excessive police vs criminal fighting, protects the criminal’s skin from hand cuff abrasion, and avoids damaging the criminal by rough police handling techniques such as arrest.

For years, police accepted the idea that criminals couldn’t feel pain as common knowledge. This idea was recently studied by injecting bee venom and acid into the wrists of criminals. The criminals responded by rubbing their wrists and saying things like “ouch, that hurts” which suggested that criminals are in fact capable of feeling pain after all. However, many older police still insist that this merely demonstrated a chemical sensitivity rather than pain, and that the evidence that criminals experience a pain sensation is still ambiguous.

What do you think?

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