Home Office gives £10k to fight crime with prayers


12:24 am - February 1st 2010

by Unity    


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Of all the imbecilic things that the Home Office has ever spent public money on, this one truly takes the biscuit…

The Christian Police Association (CPA) was handed the one-off cash payment to help publicise its message, which includes encouraging members of the public to pray that criminals are swiftly brought to justice.

The group believes that praying can help police to solve crimes, protect officers from injury on duty and reduce anti-social behaviour.

If that weren’t bad enough, the CPA believe that they have circumstantial evidence to support their contention that prayer really does help in the fight against crime:

“In one particular area, an officer was investigating an incident but he had not been able to apprehend a suspect.”He encouraged a church to pray for him and within days a suspect had been arrested and charged.

“In another area, an officer encouraged churches to pray about domestic burglary and over the year it came down by 30 per cent.

“We do not discount good police work, which is why we call it circumstantial evidence.”

We don’t discount good police work either, which is why we call that bullshit!

Thanks to the Home Office grant, the CPA have been able to issue this artist’s impression of an individual they’re looking for in connection with a extensive series of break-ins, in the London area, in which children’s bedrooms were targeted by the offender.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


How do they know it wasn’t the Maharishi Maheshi Yogi’s followers?

Mass meditation by yogic flyers would produce the “Maharishi Effect”, a cosmic boost for goodness. During the 1980s Washington’s crime rate was said to have fallen after a concentrated dose of yogic flying.

Not quite clear why you find it surprising that Christians believe in the power of prayer- it would surely be more surprising if they didn’t.

And what evidence do you have that the burglary rate was not affected by prayer? Are you prepared to take the chance on what would happen if our praying were to suddenly stop?

Anyway, getting people to pray in a secular age is quite expensive and £10k is not really a lot of money these days.

Particularly when you consider that Jarvis Cocker was sent on a £20k cruise by the Arts Council to sing to polar bears or whan you compare our award to the level of funding obtained by the Gay Leprechaun Workshop.

And what evidence do you have that the burglary rate was not affected by prayer? Are you prepared to take the chance on what would happen if our praying were to suddenly stop?

You’ve obviously never come across the notion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof or that correlation does not imply causations.

If you’re going to claim that prayer affects burglary rates then its for you provide the evidence to support your claim.

However, if we’re going to hypothesise here then my own hypothesis would be one that is readily testable, i.e. that the actual cause of the 30% fall in burglaries could be readily traced to the removal from the local community of a very small number of known prolific offenders who were either given custodial sentences, entered drug rehab or simply moved out of the area just prior to or during the period in which the fall in burglaries was recorded.

If you’re going to claim that prayer affects burglary rates then its for you provide the evidence to support your claim.

Can’t do that, but what’s your response to the high levels of HIV among gay leprechauns? 🙂

Unity @ 3

You’ve obviously never come across the notion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof or that correlation does not imply causation..

Both these are handy rules of thumb in a scientific or even social-scientific context.

But another handy rule of thumb is that the toolkit one might carry to do a job in the natural world may not be of much use when dealing with the supernatural.

A spirit-level might come in useful though….

I’m a Christian; I believe in the power of prayer; I don’t believe that the state should be promoting Christianity – it doesn’t do either the state or the church any good.

But giving 10k to this organisation is not the same as giving 10k to get people to pray. Presumably this organisation has been given money to promote the police’s profile within churches & gain their support. The unstated rationale is that it’s a PR move intended to endear the police to the 8% or so of Britons who still attend church. Or am I being too cynical?

What if the pray to St Nicholas – patron saint of thieves?

Tim:

From my own experience in community work, just about the last things that’s needed is more money for the police to build links with local churches on their patch.

Between the community officers and the neighbourhood watch, churches and their congregation are already more than adequately covered because coppers already know that they’re the low-hanging fruit of community relations.

#8

I completely agree it’s wasted money, and that church people are likely to be over-represented on that kind of community stuff anyhow (partly because they believe they should be, and partly because the church is disproportionately middle-class as a whole in this country).

Your very suggestion that coppers “already know that they’re the low-hanging fruit of community relations” suggests why this is a rational decision, though. If church people are easy pickings, and if they’re busy in the community so talking to lots of other people, deliberately pimping themselves to that demographic makes good PR sense.

10. Shatterface

Sorry, but paying people to pray is complete and utter toss – unless those praying would otherwise be out committing crime.

I can see the point of supporting religious groups who are staging community social or sports events – just – but wasting public funds on superstitious nonsense is unacceptable.

It’s as bad as paying psychics for help solving crimes or consulting astrologers.

Next week’s headlines “Homes robbed while parishioners pray”?

Lord have mercy…

While I am normally a fan of Unity’s writing I have to confess to being appauled at how this story has been prevented which smacks of tabloid journalism at its worst. Facts have been taken out of context and relavent information completely ignored all in aid of backing a particular world view.

Take a look at the Coact website http://www.coact.org.uk/ and it quickly becomes clear that what the campaign involves is far more than praying for crime reduction. It includes, amongst other things,

Using church volunteers to look out for vulnerable members of the community
Using church volunteers to help find missing persons
Using church volunteers to act as go betweens for people who may, for whatever reason, be hesitant to talk to the police
Developing programmes to provide young people with constructive things to do such as sports clubs
Providing support and advice to refugees.

It’s possible to go on and on. Somehow I suspect that the things I have listed are what the Home Office was throwing the money at, not prayers.

You may not be a believer of any description, but using crude tabloid style writing to slag off a worthy and potentially effective programme by a faith group does you few if any favours.

Personally I’m surprised at Christians supporting the police, when it was the equivalent state-enforcers of c.30AD who nicked their revolutionary leader in the first place…

I wonder if the Home Office will give £10K to this faith group if they say they’ll support UK policing? I do hope so. Equal treatment of supersticious bullshit and everything.

Unity,

Well said. And Shatterface too…

What a crock.

You might as well hand the NHS over to homeopathists. Oops!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Home Office gives £10k to fight crime with prayers http://bit.ly/dbBqtN

  2. Nissemus

    @tkingdoll RT @libcon: Home Office gives £10k to fight crime with prayers http://bit.ly/dbBqtN

  3. BARNABAS MOYER

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  4. Nissemus

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  5. Sue Bailey

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  6. andrew

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  7. Ben Griffiths

    Oh dear. http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/02/01/home-office-gives-10k-to-fight-crime-with-prayers/ Oh dear.

  8. Shane Croucher

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  9. Nissemus

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  10. Nissemus

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  11. Nissemus

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  12. Gareth Winchester

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  13. Andrew Nix

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  14. Sim-O

    you can run but you can't hide. Fighting crime with god http://is.gd/7sTrE <-£10k of public money to catch crooks with prayer. ffs

  15. Negative Charge

    Liberal Conspiracy » Home Office gives £10k to fight crime with …: … officers from injury on duty and reduce a… http://bit.ly/alh2WU

  16. Dan Jeffrey

    RT – Home Office gave Christian Police Association £10K to encourage people to pray that crimes are solved. FFS. http://bit.ly/b5RyvZ

  17. Dan Jeffrey

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  18. Rebecca Hanley

    RT @thereminwar: Home Office gave Christian Police Association £10K to encourage people to pray that crimes are solved. FFS. http://bit.ly/b5RyvZ

  19. asquith

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  24. Nina Ballantyne

    REALLY? http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/02/01/home-office-gives-10k-to-fight-crime-with-prayers/ /via @chris_coltrane

  25. Unity

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  26. Squidge

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  27. Chris

    RT @chris_coltrane: Speaking of wise public spending: "Home Office gives £10k to fight crime with prayers". Srsly. http://bit.ly/aFZ3pf FFS

  28. Christian Ridley

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  29. Tweets that mention Liberal Conspiracy » Home Office gives £10k to fight crime with prayers -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Coltrane, Ben Griffiths, Naomi McAuliffe, Liberal Conspiracy, Gareth Winchester and others. Gareth Winchester said: RT @libcon Home Office gives £10k to fight crime with prayers http://bit.ly/aZMTN0 by @Unity_MoT <- *Sigh* […]





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