As activists accuse the police of inherent racism, many are demanding an end to policing altogether. However, everyone on both sides of the debate should take a look at an Australian town that has zero police assistance within an hour and a half.
As the media portray a meticulously manipulated narrative that police officers are hunting down black men, a huge percentage of Americans now believe that the justice system is polluted by systemic racism. What began as a cry for better training and reformation has morphed into a demand for the abolition of policing altogether. Fortunately, we have an example of this to consider while weighing our options: Fregon.
Similar to countless communities across the United States, Fregon is a town of several hundred people in Southern Australia. Like many rural areas, it doesn’t have a local police force. However, instead of residents being directed to the nearest jurisdiction for emergency assistance, citizens of Fregon are entirely on their own, as the nearest police presence would take an average of 90 minutes to get to them.
Although most small towns are quiet and uneventful, Fregon has become a sanctuary for criminals and violent crime, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and murder. Disturbingly, the nearest police department is in Umuwa, which is not permanently manned and is more than half an hour away. It takes officers roughly an hour and a half to even head to calls in Fregon, the Daily Mail reports. Because of this, serious crimes routinely go cold or simply unchecked.
“The violence in Fregon was described by a medical practitioner of several years’ standing in remote communities such as these as ‘ongoing’ and ‘continual,'” the report says. “If there was no violence in the Fregon community on a given day, it was a good day.”
Despite housing around 300 people, Fregon is overrun by violence and described as “completely lawless,” mirroring the criminal statistics of a large city. Due to its reputation as a hub for criminal activity, many weren’t exactly surprised when one of the country’s most shocking murders occurred.
The brutal rape and murder of 56-year-old Gayle Woodford internationally solidified Fregon’s notoriety. The body of the mother-of-two who worked as a regional nurse was discovered 3 days after she went missing from her residence. Dudley Davey later pleaded guilty to her gruesome death and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
Davey had a disturbing history of violent sex crimes against women and preferred to attack his victims in remote areas. He had sexually assaulted several other nurses before attacking Woodford in the same manner. After Davey’s release from prison, Fregon acted as a haven for the sexual predator, providing him with the guarantee that even if someone notified the authorities during one of his attacks, he would have plenty of time to complete the violent act and flee. It was soon after that he raped and murdered Woodford.
Of course, a local police presence wouldn’t prevent all of the violent crimes taking place in Frego, but patrolling has been shown to decrease crime.
“The evidence of those witnesses who were called and who expressed a view about police presence in the Fregon community having regard to the level of lawlessness within it, would suggest that a permanent police presence would be essential,” the coroner said. “The proposition that a community in which certain of its members need to be protected by cages does not require an immediate police presence within that community would, I think, strike the ordinary man or woman in the street as perverse.”
Unlike Australia, America recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms, which would certainly prevent a large percentage of the crimes occurring in Fregon. However, while individuals are able to protect themselves far better when they are armed, this entitlement doesn’t negate the need for the police in other areas.
Maintaining law and order is vital in a civilized society, and dismissing the police as either obsolete or immoral is dishonest. Although citizens shouldn’t and can’t rely on the police to protect them at all times, abolishing them altogether empowers criminals and anarchy, as evidenced by Fregon.
Sadly, the ones who suffer the most from the efforts to defund and abolish the police are poor minority communities, for which the activists claim to advocate. Such extreme measures will only further harm those who are already vulnerable to violent crime.