Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is that the police? Daddy is smoking in the study. Can you arrest him?

Thanks to Mark Wadsworth for bringing this to my attention,
The last refuge is vanishing for besieged smokers — at least in Honduras. A new law that took effect Monday says family members can call in the police on people who smoke at home.
A clause, however, expressly says relatives or visitors can summon police to deal with smokers at home: "Families or individuals may complain to law enforcement authorities when smokers expose them to secondhand smoke in private places and family homes."
Which be an interesting law to implement.
Rony Portillo, director of the Institute to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, said those who violate the law will first receive a verbal warning and after the second offense could be arrested. To be released they would have to pay a $311 fine, the equivalent of a monthly minimum wage salary in Honduras.

"The law is clear and we will comply with it," Portillo said. "Authorities will intervene (at a home) when someone makes a complaint."
Tis is just geting silly. The level of state interference is beyond compare. What is instructive is the pressure that will be put on the police. As Mark underlines,
That police-to-public ratio of 1:667 is impressive, that's about half European levels.
And they are not busy enough already without rounding up locals who smoke in their own houses. After all as the US state department puts it,
Crime is endemic in Honduras and requires a high degree of caution by U.S. visitors and residents alike. U.S. citizens have been the victims of a wide range of crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape, assault, and property crimes. Eighty-five U.S. citizens have been reported murdered in Honduras since 1995; only twenty-four cases have been resolved. Sixteen U.S. citizens were reported murdered in Honduras in 2009, nine in 2008, four in 2007 six in 2006, and ten in 2005. Kidnappings of U.S. citizens have also occurred in Honduras. Five U.S. citizens were reported kidnapped in 2009, four in 2008, and two in 2007. Poverty, gangs, and low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals contribute to a critical crime rate, including acts of mass murder. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported 4,473 murders in Honduras in 2008 giving Honduras, with a population of approximately 7.3 million people, one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates.

The UNDP report can be found here. I guess harrasing people in their own homes is easier than sorting out the real problems.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for link. Good research on crime levels.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see a real waste of police time then try this link!

"Mate of Wilf"