A Police-Free Society? It’s Possible


There’s an interesting argument being posed on the Rolling Stone website about the necessity of police in today’s society. The sub heading, ‘it’s time to start imagining a society that isn’t dominated by police,’ doesn’t sound so far-fetched, once the imagination actually begins to wander.

The whole cause and effect of the police needs to be examined. Now, I’m not arguing that a society doesn’t need some type of governing body to assist with the welfare of others. But in light of recent events around the world; the fair question to consider is: What role should the police take on? For the current situation isn’t really benefiting the general masses nor the police force.

As Jose Martin, a writer for Rolling Stone reports, it is police reform that we need to examine. But what exactly would a police reform look like? Is it even at all possible? How would society function? Let’s take a look at some of these questions with Martin in mind, and how he views the current complex situation.

Martin draws the analogy that the police are viewed as the line between chaos – ‘a dystopic wild west’ – and a functional society. He then focuses on six real world situations that are currently happening as a practicing alternative to the traditional method of policing. They are: [1]

  • Unarmed mediation and intervention teams
  • The decriminalization of almost every crime
  • Restorative justice
  • Direct democracy at the community level
  • Community patrols
  • Mental health care

We have seen many forms of community patrols from BACA, a motorcycle group to protect children from abuse, to the Policia Comunitaria in Mexico and to the more notorious KKK. When I personally consider the decriminalization of almost every crime, the movie ‘The Purge’ springs to mind. But restorative justice and direct democracy at the community level has been witnessed time and again as a successful and innovative way to curb criminal activity.

Russell Brand is a strong advocate of direct democracy. In his book, Revolution[2], he discusses the finer points of getting the local community involved in all aspects of society where everyone is held accountable to everyone, not just in a specific group. Getting people involved on a large scale, as Martin also discusses, “…is a more healthy political culture where people feel more involved is a powerful building block to a less violent world.” He cites an article that pertains to a traditional Africa, where the community would deal with the ‘criminal,’ make them so ashamed that they would not act in such a way again. Jail would be unnecessary. [3]

If you combine this with the restorative justice that Martin discusses, we can see the huge potential for a police-free society. Community courts with community involvement, where “accountability is understood as a community issue,” is a plausible alternative to the adversarial courts that we currently have. If you combine this with direct democracy you have a potentially powerful weapon. Would government then be held accountable at long last?

You don’t need to select one or another banner to work under. Take the best from all and combine them to establish a judicial system for the people; to be run by the people. Working as a community, rather than an ‘us versus them’ mentality, may very well be the key to our evolution and success.


[1] Martin, J. (2014, 16 December) Policing is a dirty job but nobody’s gotta do it. Six ideas for a cop free world. Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/policing-is-a-dirty-job-but-nobodys-gotta-do-it-6-ideas-for-a-cop-free-world-20141216 (Retrieved 2015, 7 January)

[2] Brand, R. (2014) Revolution.

[3] Moscow center for Prison Reform webpage. Merits of the Zimbabwe Model. http://old.prison.org/english/altmer.htm (Retrieved 2015, 7 January)


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  1. I would imagin a large percentage of responses would be from police staff insisting that a right to indiscriminately use force is their protection. That the criminal element uses force as a means of persuasion and protection. Tasering an unarmed individual to death an unfortunate act if commited in the line of duty yet a heinous crime if commited in a robbery. What we need is a citizen based review process of all incidents and a complete transparency of their findings.

  2. Whoevers posting this shit, go fuck yourself. Not all cops are bad you fucking sperm cell. It’s just a few cops who give the whole idea a bad name.

    • Why is that people start speaking/writing before even listening/reading. John Doe user need to open some book, and do practice. Read again, this time read it in English.

    • A few as in 70% of them? You moron.

      Like the poster above said how come the “good cops” don’t take down the “few bad cops”?

      I’ll tell you why fucko, it’s because the silent ones are in support of the bad ones.
      There are only 3 types of cops – Good Bad & Silent. By default the silent ones are bad. And are the majority.

  3. Great post! Smaller more local government would be ideal. The problem with the system we have now is that it’s too lucrative and far far too complicated. Locals can’t get involved because most of us (me included) are just overwhelmed by the jargon and the complexity of it all. “Such and such law is passed because so and so company paid for it and includes this and that and so on…” It’s not right! And it benefits all the wrong people. We NEED change.

  4. Great post! Smaller more local government would be ideal. The problem with the system we have now is that it’s too lucrative and far far too complicated. Locals can’t get involved because most of us (me included) are just overwhelmed by the jargon and the complexity of it all. “Such and such law is passed because so and so company paid for it and includes this and that and so on…” It’s not right! And it benefits all the wrong people. We NEED change.

  5. I’m sorry but this is the most fucking retarded thing I’ve ever read.
    Not sure if the writer of these columns have paid attention to history OR even thought about human nature.
    It is an ideal, hell so is world peace but it will never happen because no matter what, there will always be people doing bad things and you need good people (OMG YES IM TALKING ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT) to stop them.
    Or has everyone forgotten every single history lesson ever.
    Goodjob guiz. gg.

    • Any remaining “good cops” need to realise they’re a part of a corrupt broken system and that one day they will be judged with the rest of the police forces that ignore their personal values whenever a higher up gives a command and the officer becomes a corporate puppet. The government, including police, are for the people and by the people. When a police officer is bought indirectly by a corporation they are no longer serving justice they’re a mercenary. The government has in essence already started war with the citizens by directly infringing on their rights. Simply by being employed as an officer you are saying you are either too ignorant of current events, are completely for it, or realised too late and are a hopeless tool unable to make a career change in this woeful economy.

  6. Russel Brand just copies what Beppe Grillo did, and still do, in Italy. Direct democracy is a mean, and Russel and other artists still defect from the political side, because they are late and need to create consensus. They could at least connect with the 5 star movement of Grillo, but no. They want to go their separate ways, for reasons… or to ensure survival in some way if Italian fails as they are accostume to do.

  7. If everyone had an abundance of resources nobody would have to fight or steal anything. That type of human behavior would no longer be necessary. Excess resources are constantly held back due the rules of Profit. People are still poisoned by greed in the system we live in and if people became truly happy why would they even want to commit crimes? You guys should check out “The Venus Project” it might be the next step away from the system we live in. You don’t see people robbing libraries.

  8. There is no need for this, Not all cops are bad to begin with; The fucking media just loves to show us all of the bad shit.

    As long as humans have free will we will need police.

  9. Oh, we do need police. Just to a much lesser degree, and not carry around weapons which is pretty much just point and shoot, then find a dumb excuse afterwards.

    1. They should not carry weapons on their person. ONLY a pepper spray or a tazer. With low voltage, so that even with excessive use does not kill the person the tazer is being used upon.
    2. The weapons should be locked in some sort of safe/lockbox, preferably at the back of the car/vehicle.
    3. In order to unlock the box, you need to call a superior officer and get “today’s code”.
    4. Even with a gun in hand, a cop should not shoot unless being fired upon, and should not point said gun in any direction other than upwards, or downwards.
    5. They should be PROPERLY trained in order to ascertain situations, prevent civilian casualties and learn how to act/behave in stressful situations. From the looks of it it looks like you only need a 2-week crash course in gun usage to become a cop in the US. I know said statement wrong, but that’s how it looks like for the rest of the world. Fix that shit please.
    6. Cops should obey the local community and the local community only. Companies should have no say, WHATSOEVER, in their activities. Which seems to NOT be the case in the US, nor Sweden for that matter. The police have much more important matters to attend to than to save a few bucks for these fucking companies that bitch about “internet pirates”.

    Some of the ways that cops could improve on. Or rather, MUST improve on.

    • What happens when the community gets it wrong? Lynch mobs, for instance?
      And if police have to stop an armed siege or robbery? Nobody would want the job after the first 100+ are dead, because they couldn’t get the code for the lock box from HQ or were in a radio black spot!

      • Lynch mobs are not an American problem in 2016. In the case of armed criminals they would know to prepare from phone call, “Quick there’s a man with a gun!” Fact is police are required but a community should police itself before anything. If the comminuty becomes so radical leave it to surrounding communities to police them. If all regions are radical then thats a consequence of freedom and essentially if a wide region had a number of seemingly immoral practices as long as most of the people where in agreement itd be like casting a vote. Anyone who disagrees with it can leave. The problem in America is that the price to leave is high and the general populace has no voice or means of shaping the government. I speak for myself when I say I feel enslaved to remain in America simply because I was born here.

  10. Boko Haram. Need i say more? The lack of police forces etc is what keep them going.

    Who ever thought about this needs a big kick in the ass. Left bullshit and surrealistic crap.

  11. The greatest weapon is your mind, equip it with knowledge and use it wisely, NOT to be a manipulative corrupter, no one likes a manipulative corrupter. Now if only my parents, especially my mom would use that knowledge that she has and learn better ,instead of using it to wonder as why to not be who I am and believing so much in the media. Goddamnit. Sorry to bring my personal life problem into this, but I’ll try to calm the f down, until after my Sweet 16th birthday.

  12. The vulgar and nearly illiterate ramblings in support of a policing system that clearly has passed its usefulness demonstrates why police reform is impossible. Too many in this country still believe we have to CONTROL others. Control is an illusion. We can not force people to value that which we value. The purpose of law should be to prevent one person from infringing on the rights of another or the group, not ram our morality down their throats. We must reform our laws before any reform of the enforcers becomes possible. We learned nothing from our alcohol prohibition experiment.


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