Are there any theoretical frameworks that explain crime as a function of government effectiveness? For instance, something like Collective Efficacy theory, but centered on “the State” an its capability for action etc? I am thinking mainly on common crime (murder, robbery, burglary), not corruption, financial crime, political crime or civil strife etc. I expect a theory like that could be useful to explain crime rate variations across political units (eg states, counties, countries etc) that are otherwise similar.
I have gone through the range of theories and could not really find something quite like that in criminology. There is i guess control theory (somewhat), and maybe Hobbesian views on the state and society…
Can anyone think of anything else? I feel like I’m missing something obvious..
I’m currently in the hospital. I was on my way to work today & blacked out due to my heart rate plummeting from severe cramps. When I came back to, I had wrapped my vehicle around a tree. The tree definitely won this battle. Airbags deployed. At the time, I was carrying appendix with the seatbelt over the gun, exactly in the fashion people warn us not to. My gun was between my body and the seatbelt. Glock 19 in a Phlster Enigma. My face hurts and I will definitely have a black eye tomorrow. I have a cut on my eyelid from the steering wheel. I guess the point of this post though, is just to share my experience getting into an accident in this carry position. I have no abdominal bruising or damage, call me lucky. I carry portable Vaultek 2.0 lockbox under my center console just in case. When I came to, I grabbed the lockbox, set it on top of my center console. I then informed the EMT’s outside my drivers window that I had my ccw on me and asked them how they would like me to proceed. I asked if they would prefer I keep it on me, or if I should take it off and put it in the safe. They said I should probably put it in the safe, and they called over one of the police officers on the scene to observe. I opened the case, took my enigma off, and kept the gun pointed down the whole time and put it in the safe. I then locked it and handed it to the officer and got his name (and immediately forgot it, I was pretty out of it). Keep in mind, this whole time my heart rate is at 30 bpm. When I was in the ambulance the officer asked me for the password for the lock box so he could “check it”. I gave him the code, and he couldn’t figure out how to open it. I reached out and put my finger on the finger print reader, and took him he had to unlatch the sides. He thanked me. After that, he gave me a sheet of paper and told me that I could come to the police department after I was dismissed from the hospital to pick it up. I asked him if I could have my wife pick it up for me, he said no, it’s not in her name. Overall, everyone involved has been super cool about my CCW. Keep in mind, this is in San Bernardino County California. I guess once I am dismissed from the hospital, I’ll see what the rest of this experience is like getting my pistol back. Also, I can vouch for the safety features of the Chevy Suburban. Myself and all three of my passengers are alive and well.
That night Simon and Nemeria watched from the rooftop of a rented apartment in Coven as shooting stars fell over Homeworld for the first time. "Make a wish, my love." She said as she put her head in his lap, the rapidly disintegrating space station above filling the sky with streaks of light that reflected in her eyes.
He thought about it for a second. "Should I tell you what it is?"
"No, definitely not." Nemeria replied. "Then it won't come true."
"Oh… then I will not." Simon said as he played with her hair. For a moment he felt as if he were standing at a crossroads, straddling two potential futures, then the feeling faded. He had wished for them to have a happy life together. He felt they at least deserved that after all they had been through and all the time they had spent apart.
The morning after Haven fell something interesting happened. Pirate radio stations began to emerge, filling the airways with music, but it wasn't like anything they had heard before. It was something new.
"Good morning Homeworld!" Called out a rough but enthusiastic voice in Dansk from the clock radio on the dresser. It was out of arm's reach, probably so the person being woken up would have to actually get out of bed to shut it off. "This is not a test, this is rock and roll! Time to rock it from Katzenlund to the Winter lands! Is it too early to be this loud? Too late!"
Simon frowned at the clock radio. He didn't remember scheduling an alarm. "I'm Mr. Bones and this is human music! I'm going to start off with a favorite of mine, Zombie by the Cranberries!"
He went to turn it off but Nemeria tackled him before he could reach the button. "Do you dare." She said as she pulled him back into bed. "That song is a classic."
So instead of starting the day early they stayed in bed and listened to The Doors, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed, and Pink Floyd. It was surprisingly good, even if his wetware had a hard time translating the lyrics.
"Human music on the radio." Nemeria mused, her head on his chest. "I never thought I would see the day."
"Oh? I just assumed you people didn't like to share." Simon tousled her hair, it was starting to change from dull brown to a more vivid copper red.
"No. There are countermeasures in place, Haven would have sent a kill team to destroy anyone who tried or just blasted the site from orbit. We had a black market, exchanging things from the old world, books, music, things to keep us sane. But it was very hush hush." Nemeria looked at him, her eyes were different too, they were an almost opalescent green. Something had changed in her. "I want to read you something."
"Alright." Simon sat up, his muscular shoulders against the headboard and he listened as she recited Edna and Shakespeare from memory, beautiful human words, full of sentiment and meaning.
"That was beautiful." Simon said. "Why haven't you shared this with me before?"
"It wasn't allowed. You would have felt compelled to share it and then Haven would have come for you." She smiled, but for once there was no pain behind it, or guilt. Perhaps it was the first real smile he had even seen on her face. It was like a weight had been lifted. "But now, there is no Haven. We don't have to worry about them anymore. We can live our lives, start anew."
"You seem different… unburdened." Simon observed.
"I am. I woke up this morning and realized that I don't have to feel guilty for something someone else did. Something that I never played a part in. I should have realized it sooner, but something was blocking me from making the connection." She laid back in bed. "I feel… new? Is that the word? Yes, new. I feel like I'm not the same person who went to sleep last night."
The old hund's words echoed in Simon's mind. He had said he would crack Haven like an egg, destroy the Howl, then set everyone free. So was he free? How different would he be now that his programming no longer bound him to her?
Before they had parted the old hund had given him a piece of advice. He had told Simon that love was a choice, not a feeling. That if he wanted things to work out with Nemeria he would have to choose her, and keep choosing her, to decide once and for all that he would always love her. And to stand by that choice.
"Would you please give me your ring?" Simon asked. "There's something I need to do."
Nemeria slipped the silver band off her finger and handed it over. Then Simon sat her on the edge of the bed and knelt down. "The world is new, we are new, so I ask… will you marry me? Will you be my wife?"
Nemeria paused, realizing that she had a choice to make. Before then she had been hard coded to love him, hard coded to believe that she was someone, now all that was falling away. Her mind was free, unshackled. Unburdened. She remembered so much that had been kept hidden from her.
The Red Titan had stolen one of Esmerelda's backup clones and poured their mind into it, essentially putting the mind of one warden into the body of another. But that didn't make her them. She was someone else, someone new. She didn't have to pay for their mistakes anymore.
But what about Simon? Did she love him? Could she love him? Did she want to commit to this when her whole life was ahead of her? And the child, she had agreed to raise a child! Did she even know that she would like being a mother? Or that she would be a good one?
A soft caress brought her back to reality. It was Simon, touching her cheek with the tips of his fingers. "I don't know what is going on, or what tomorrow will hold, or even how I will feel, and it terrifies me. But I know that together we can face anything. We have a chance to choose for ourselves, and I choose you. I promise that I will always choose you."
Then as he went to slip the ring on her finger he repeated what she had told him when she handed him his first Vampirzahn. He didn't know where it came from or what it meant. But the sentiment had been clear, that she couldn't protect him from the world, that she couldn't keep him safe, that this was all she could give and she hoped that it would be enough. "It's dangerous to go alone, take this."
Nemeria laughed and accepted the ring. "Yes it is, isn't it? I suppose you're stuck with me now."
"Damn. Perhaps I should rethink things?" Simon laughed as he pulled her back into bed. "No, I think I like this." He gave her a playful nip on the side of the neck. "Yes, I believe I do."
They made love until the afternoon then went out for pastries and provisions. Somehow it felt right, finally choosing each other. They walked hand in hand, ignoring the looks of surprise at a human and a hund so boldly displaying their affection. GG had said she would contact them when the child was ready to be picked up.
"I can't believe Haven is actually gone." Nemeria said as she sat on a bench eating an ice cream cone. Technically they were in a graveyard, but between the sunshine and the families with their strollers it felt just like any other park.
She took a second to make sure nobody was listening. "I joined some of the old nets anonymously and asked around. Everyone says it was some kind of system failure, or possibly sabotage. Apparently the boosters just went haywire, spun it until it fell apart."
"It's hard to believe it." Simon looked up at the clear sky, there wasn't a single sign of the once proud space station. "I wonder if there will be a backlash against humans now that there isn't anything stopping us from getting even."
"Possibly, but we're resilient and useful. With Haven destroyed I expect you will see a lot of human tech being sold to the highest bidder. And not just tech, entertainment as well. There are a bunch of black market music and books that are going to see the light for the first time in centuries."
Simon felt a call come in from GG and he accepted it. The encryption in their wetware made sure nobody else could listen in. She got straight to the point.
"Someone took out all of the Howl's senior leadership last night." She said over the link, "It was a bloodbath."
Simon blinked in surprise. "What happened? And why wasn't I invited? Was it Las Brujas?" He replied back, his wetware translating thoughts to words.
"Details are sparse but apparently they had an emergency meeting to discuss what to do about the Haven situation and someone took the opportunity to clean house. It was some kind of commando style raid, nobody knows who or why. All the tapes and satellite images were erased. Just a lot of dead bodies." She sent him a few choice photos. "Multiple locations were hit simultaneously. All locations were remote and heavily guarded. Looks like whoever this was they hit hard and fast. Local security was packbound and armed to the teeth, didn't help. They were put down with precise shots and a minimum of fuss. Look familiar?"
He sucked in his breath. Somebody had been using a Jagdkommando carbine, he recognized the tiny entrance and massive exit wounds. Yes, they looked familiar. He had carried that same rifle.
Even five decades after their defeat Döbi still produced some of the most sought after weapons. Half the militaries on Homeworld used their hardware. But these were old classics, pre-war. Someone was sending a message.
New tech was all about drones and smart munitions. Why risk a soldier's life when you could lob a smart grenade through a window that would identify friend from foe and destroy the latter with smart shrapnel? No, this was old school. Someone looked them in the face and pulled the trigger.
Apparently the old hund hasn't been lying when he said he would destroy the Howl. But what kind of power vacuum would that leave? And who would step in? The Howl wasn't just a supremacist group. They ran weapons, narcotics and black market tech all over the globe. They had strongholds in various capital cities and major political protection.
"Any noise on who is going to step up now that they're out of commission?" Simon asked.
"It's too soon to say but my money is on the Bone Syndicate. They've been looking to expand and with the Howl out of the way they'll probably jump at the chance. They've been staying out of the news but my sources say they have been muscling out smaller gangs and taking over their turf. Nobody seems to mind because there aren't gunfights in the streets anymore. But it's still organized crime."
Simon was familiar with the Bone Syndicate, he had even done some work for them after they restructured a few decades back. Territory under their control tended to be mostly peaceful and safe, so long as you followed the rules. They even helped out during national disasters. But the line between gangsters and good samaritans tended to blur.
They might extort local restaurants then give them money to rebuild after a fire. They would blackmail politicians… to ensure a new school got funded. Or to pass a social welfare bill. It was almost as if they had decided that the best way for them to make money was to improve the areas which they controlled. And it was working.
They operated almost in the open and had so thoroughly greased all levels of local government that any attempt to take them down would cause a major budget crisis. But when they did choose violence, it was with massively overwhelming force and military precision. Yes, this sounded like their way of doing things. The old hund must have tipped them off.
"Any news on our bundle of joy?" Simon asked.
"Yes, she is en route." GG confirmed. "She should arrive in a few hours. We have papers for her ready as well as a safe house in Porto."
Porto? Now that was a surprise. "Why Porto?"
"Because they acknowledge mixed species marriages and it's one of the few places you have amnesty." GG reminded him. "You are technically a war criminal. Even if most of the world thinks you are dead."
After the war Porto had offered him amnesty in return for helping them hunt down and kill those responsible for the genocide of their fellow katzen. Porto was after all a mostly katzen nation and they knew how to hold a grudge. So he had joined a task force of other enhanced hunds and katzen with a similar thirst for blood and they had done their best to kill every last one of the people responsible. Afterwards he had gone into the private sector, but it was true, he did have a place to go if he ever felt like retiring.
He contemplated that for a moment. If he was going to raise a child he couldn't exactly run off for months at a time to do contract work. Perhaps it was time to retire, at least until she was grown. It wasn't like he needed the money. Perhaps it was time to become the warrior in the gardens like the old hund had said.
"How do you feel about moving to Porto?" Simon asked after he broke the connection.
"Oh, I have a little place near Intra, on the coast." Nemeria frowned. "I don't think I've been back in quite some time though. Let me check something…"
Her eyelids fluttered as she scanned the net. "Yes, the management company I hired is renting it out. I can have them cancel the bookings and make it ready for us, if that's what you want." She smiled. "It's quite well defended, I purchased it in my post-war phase when I thought everyone was out to get me. We could hold off an army there."
"Perfect." Simon said, squeezing her hand three times and receiving three squeezes back in reply. In the camps that had been their secret way of saying "I love you" and he was happy to see that she still remembered.
He looked out across the park and frowned. "Darling, was that church always there?"
Nemeria followed his gaze, her eyes narrowed. "No… I'd say it wasn't. Now the question is, was it hidden or did it just appear?"
Simon cocked his head to the side, surprised at the flexibility of her thought process. It was like she was waking up, becoming bright again, becoming the person he had fallen in love with in the camps. "Shall we investigate?" He asked.
"Oh yes. Definitely." Nemeria made a gesture with her fingers and he could almost swear there was a faint rainbow flickering of light in the palm of her right hand.
"Dearest, what was that?" He asked as they stalked across the graveyard.
"Oh, it's something old. It goes nicely with the something new." Nemeria said playfully, nudging him with her hip.
Simon mentally filed that strangeness into a drawer marked "wife/human stuff" and put it out of his mind. There was no sense trying to understand it all, to attempt to do so was to invite madness.
The church was old, hundreds of years old. With moss growing from the roof and black stones making up the walls. Which made it very strange indeed that it seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere and hadn't been there yesterday.
"Fascinating." Nemeria said as she turned around, not looking at the church but at the people around them. "Absolutely fascinating."
Simon didn't get it. "What is so interesting, my love?"
"It's an SEP field." Nemeria replied.
"And that is?" Simon pressed.
"Someone else's problem." She turned to him and smiled. "They can all see it, they just ignore it. But look at them. Really look."
Simon did as requested, they seemed like normal hunds to him. There were certainly more bicycles than he was used to but then again this was Coven. Then he looked with his other senses and he quickly realized that what was going on was anything but normal.
Almost everyone in the park was running some form of wetware, even the pups. Warhunds shared data along a kind of mesh network that mixed low power local signals with satellite uplinks and repeaters to allow them to communicate nearly instantly and move as a team. This was something similar but with vastly more users.
He looked up with his mind and touched a commercial recon satellite, purchasing some time through a shell company, accessing its spectral analysis capabilities. The whole city was a hotbed of activity, and the network was growing at an exponential rate.
A wave of digital traffic was spreading out over the country, awakening new mesh nodes as it went, strengthening and spreading the network. Soon it was in Döbi, Möhi, Sühi, and the rest of the continent.
He looked down, his own wetware telling him something very important. It wasn't just the living who were part of the network. Somehow it seemed to be leveraging the dead as well.
Some of the more recent graves seemed to be exchanging packets with the network. Answering queries perhaps? But what could the dead possibly have to say?
"Many things, I would imagine." Said a raspy voice from the entrance of the church, seemingly reading his thoughts. It was an old Döbian with high cut ears, but it was hard to say if it was the same one he had met in his dream. He was wearing plain black clothes and a white priest's collar rubbed with sandalwood, the traditional scent of his station. "Come, you don't want to be late for the wedding."
Nemeria and Simon exchanged a knowing look. "It's our wedding, isn't it?" Simon asked.
"Of course." The old hund said with a dry chuckle. "Who's else would it be? You know that this is one of the few places you two can get married, don't you? Why else bring you here?" He gestured for them to come inside.
Nemeria shrugged and walked towards the door, that same strange shimmer dancing around the fingertips of her right hand. "You said you brought us here. Why?"
"As bait, mostly." The old hund laughed as he turned his back on her and entered the building, talking as he walked. "But also because I have fond memories of this city. Plus the whole marriage thing. It was owed to you, a chance at a happy ending."
Nemeria looked at Simon and raised an eyebrow.
Simon just shrugged. "He's a friend… I think."
The church was well maintained, if dusty. The windows were not particularly ornate and the altar didn't hold anything worth stealing. Simon tried not to let his hackles rise at the idea of being used as bait. But bait for what? He wondered.
The old hund spun on his heel and faced Simon. "Bait… for a warden." He explained. "A very nasty warden who has quietly been growing their power and influence since the war. A cancer which, if unchecked, will spell the end of this world and all within it. Also he is a threat to my granddaughter, so that means he must die."
"How are you reading my mind?" Simon demanded angrily. It seemed like all he had to do was think of a question and the hund would answer it.
"Because to think of a question when we share a network, dear brother, is to ask it." The old hund replied cryptically. "Your wetware is querying me for information, seeing if I have an answer."
Simon frowned. "I know you… don't I? From before the war? You said we were like half brothers…" He felt a name coming to his lips, but it was as if the memory was fighting him. "Are you Gershwin's son? The pup he brought back from the dead? The reason for all this madness?"
"Yes, I am Kerner. As are many others." The old hund shrugged. "I suppose it is a very common name where I come from. Perhaps more common now."
Simon blinked. "Copies… you and the other hund I spoke with… you're copies of Kerner. The same mind spread out over different bodies." He could see it now, the advanced age made it hard to tell but this wasn't the same hund he had met in virtual.
"Duplicates yes, but not necessarily equals. Not until today." The old hund explained. "Only one of us at a time had the ability to make more, to overwrite wetware at will, to influence the Gravekeeper. But he patched out those vulnerabilities yesterday after Haven fell and the Howl was brought low. Now we are all just regular warhunds. The more recent of our number may revert back to their former selves, others will find a middle ground, and the old ones will most likely remain the same. After all, I have been Kerner for most of my life. I see little reason to change now."
"But how many of you are there?" Simon pressed.
"Many." Kerner said with a shrug. "Though now that I have revealed myself perhaps that number will decrease rapidly." The old hund chuckled, gesturing towards Nemeria. "Your other half will see to that if I am unable to stop him."
Now it was Nemeria's turn to be confused. "You don't mean Simon, do you?"
"No, I do not." The old hund sat down on an old wooden chair, looking up at the bare altar. "The problem with making copies is that the original still remains. I was made when Kerner was murdered by his sister during a training exercise. He jumped out of an airplane and realized half way down that his parachute had been sabotaged. I remember feeling his fear, his desperation, and I remember seeing him hit the ground."
The old hund looked back over his shoulder at her. "You my dear are one possible answer to a question. What does one do when the body does not fit the mind? Either the being must suffer, the body must change, or the mind must change."
The old hund went back to looking at the altar. "It's amazing how paths can split. You went one way, and he went another. You took a form to fit your mind, and he altered his mind to accept his form."
There was a polite knock on the ancient timbers of the open church door as a tall well built man with flaming red hair entered the building.
He looked at Simon and smiled. "Hello, Puppy." He said softly. It was Nemeria's old form, her old identity, the Red Titan, very much alive.
Simon realized now that the dead body he saw in the lab as they were fleeing had been a fake. This was Raul Reyes, in all his glory. A flash of anger rose in Simon as he realized that Raul had tricked him, made him think that he was alone for all these years. What a cruel thing to do to someone that you said you loved. The betrayal of it wrenched at Simon's heart, tearing open old wounds.
Simon reached out and took Nemeria's left hand, squeezing it firmly three times. "I choose you." He said. "I will always choose you. Fuck him, he's dead to me."
Nemeria squeezed back three times. "I have your back, whatever happens."
I (24f) have been with my boyfriend (26m) for 5 years. I grew up in a mid-sized city and him in the much larger city next door. I can hardly tolerate the bustle of my own city, so I told him very early on that I would never be open to moving to his city. I said I'd be ok to stay in mine or look around at other smaller cities, but I can't live in a city any bigger. On top of his city being too big for me, it has much a higher crime rate (my city is ranked in the top 5 safest cities in our country, his in the bottom 20), worse schools (I'm a teacher), and way more traffic (I have severe driving anxiety). I told him all of these reasons up front and told him I understand if that was a deal breaker for him, but I will never be able to live in that big of a city. He agreed to this then as he also finds his city too big and has a job that has good job prospects all around our state.
At this point in time, we are both living in with my parents as he had conflicts with his parents resulting in them asking him to move out. We are finally looking to get our own place, and we are now running into conflicts with his parents. They always assumed that he would live in their city when he moved out. They even tried to pressure him into getting an apartment right by their house instead of moving in with my family when they first kicked him out, and constantly talked about how much better their city is than mine whenever the topic was brought up in the past (ie. if I mentioned a really cool festival going on in my city, they'd go out of their way to talk about how their city has festivals that are so much better). They are now very upset to hear that their city is not one that we are looking at.
Although my boyfriend has his issues with them, he is starting to reconsider because his parents are much older and he doesn't want to upset them. I told him that I'm sorry he's put in this situation, but I will not consider moving to his city and if he wants to move there, it won't be with me. He thinks this is unfair because I am being inflexible and putting him in a tough situation, but I think that it is unfair of him to expect me to move to his city when I told him early on that I never would, and all to appease his parents who frankly have never been kind to me. I tried compromising by pointing out that there are places in the city I live and others nearby that are only around 20 minutes from his parents' house and I would be open to living there. I do feel a bit bad because I see how much stress this is causing him and his parents are a lot older than mine and care a lot more about this than mine do, but I also don't feel like I should have to compromise my happiness for the happiness of 2 people who have treated me poorly for years. He is hoping that we can just move to his city for a couple of years to rent and then buy in a different city later on, but I fear that if we move there now, his parents will throw an even bigger fit when we try to leave.
I don't quite understand the hierarchical structure of police and law enforcement in the USA. I'm from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. When I call the police in Victoria, I get the Victoria Police respond to me, which is provided by the Victorian state government.. We also have the Australian Federal Police, which deal with more serious crimes on a national level such as terrorism, fraud and cybercrime.
I've got close friends on Long Island New York in Amityville which is in the Suffolk County. When I call the police there, I'm not calling the NYPD, right? I'm going to get the Amityville Police come out to me, correct? Does this mean that police in the USA is provided by the local government and not the state government? What about the local sheriff's department? Are they police or law enforcement? How do they differ from police? What about the FBI? They operate on a federal level like the Australian Federal Police don't they?
Thanks for your answers, I've never asked anything like this before 👍