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[Draft] Cop Blocked

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Electrum
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[Draft] Cop Blocked

Postby Electrum » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:05 am

Inspired by some of my previous studies in the area of corruption and economics. See example: here. Option 3 inspired by this.

2nd draft
ISSUE: Cop Blocked
[validity]high corruption, has cars, high amount of tourism

[desc] Tourists are complaining that checkpoints introduced by the @@DEMONYM@@ Police Force across major roads in @@NAME@@ are really an excuse for cash-strapped police departments to fine them for obscure traffic laws.

[option] "I was stopped six times on my way here!" complains tired tourist @@RANDOMNAME@@, wearing a 'I ❤ @@CAPITAL@@' t-shirt. "I had to pay a fine for having wrong-coloured headlamps, and another for having slightly deflated tyres. How was I supposed to know that this was @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ law? Why don't you give us tourists the benefit of the doubt and grant us total immunity from these trifling trivial traffic laws?"
[effect] tourists find parking anywhere is fine without parking fines

[option]"These checkpoints are important in disrupting criminal activities and ensuring the roads of @@NAME@@ are free from unroadworthy vehicles," explains chief police officer @@RANDOMNAME@@ while writing up @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ for public nuisance. "Ignorance of the law by tourists is no excuse. In fact, we could raise even more money by doubling fines and increasing our fine collection quotas. With your help, we can give a much needed pay rise for our officers."
[effect] crime doesn't pay but being a police officer does

[option]"I never really understood why we need to dedicate significant police resources to traffic enforcement," opines the Minister for Reducing Red Tape, while shredding a tome of statutes. "If you look at the net impact to society of a murder compared to speeding, then there really is no comparison. Abolish all of these traffic laws, and everyone will be much happier now that driving from A to B can be done in record time."
[effect] overheated shredders cook the traffic law books


ISSUE: Cop Blocked
[validity]high corruption, has cars

[desc] The @@DEMONYM@@ Police Force introduced checkpoints across major roads in @@NAME@@, citing security reasons. Aggrieved motorists complain that the checkpoints are really an excuse for cash-strapped police departments to find any reason to extract payments from drivers.

[option] "I was stopped six times on my way here!" complains turnip transporter @@RANDOMNAME@@, biting into a fresh turnip. "I had to pay a fine for having wrong-coloured headlamps, and another for having slightly deflated tyres. One time the cops could find nothing at all, so they detained me and seized my drivers license. What choice did I have but to bribe them? Let us drive in peace by telling the police to prioritise the serious criminal cases over these trifling trivial traffic laws."
[effect] parking anywhere is fine without parking fines

[option]"These security checkpoints are important in disrupting criminal activities and ensuring the roads of @@NAME@@ are free from unroadworthy vehicles," explains chief police officer @@RANDOMNAME@@ while writing up @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ for public nuisance. "These crims always say they're innocent, but if they were, why did they pay the fines? Anyways, it's well known that our budgets have been stretched thin lately. I'll tell you what - we could raise more money by doubling fines and increasing our fine collection quota. With your help, we can be less of a burden on your finances while giving a much needed pay rise for our officers."
[effect] transporting freight is fraught with frustration

[option]"We need a root-and-branch reform of the police force," explains lawyer @@RANDOMNAME@@, who is leaning in so close to you that @@HIS@@ ostentatious jabot makes you sneeze. "For too long, the police have been enforcing these traffic laws arbitrarily. You need to start again by firing all officers, and forcing them to undergo strict integrity tests to keep their jobs. Those that stay on can have double the salary, so they are less susceptible to bribes."
[effect] crime doesn't pay but being a police officer does

[option]"Why don't we abolish all of these pesky traffic laws?" asks the Minister for Reducing Red Tape, while shredding a tome of statutes. "That way, traffic cops won't have an excuse to block drivers from passing, and everyone will be more happier because driving from A to B can be done in a record time."
[effect] overheated shredders cook the traffic law books
Last edited by Electrum on Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:37 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Honeydewistania
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Postby Honeydewistania » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:44 am

Typo in option two: crimes, not crims
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Postby Candensia » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:07 am

It might be a cultural thing, but as a dirty American the terms "police checkpoint" and "police roadblock" aren't entirely synonymous, I feel.

For me, roadblocks conjure up images of squad cars blocking all traffic, in an attempt to stop a fleeing suspect, like something out of Smokey and the Bandit. This contrasts with checkpoints, where the point is often to check licenses and enforce DUI laws.

In the description, I'd explicitly establish that we're talking about police checkpoints. In the options is where I'd sling out kinda-synonyms like "roadblock".
Last edited by Candensia on Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:41 am

Makes sense to me. Even without the "police" prefix, "roadblock" suggests to me something you're not supposed to go past, while "checkpoint" suggests something you're supposed to stop briefly at and then continue on your way.

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Postby Australian rePublic » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:00 pm

But they're not targeting innocent people, so what's the problem? I mean, if this guy had blue head lights, he would have been caught sooner or later anyway. Something better to complain aboit would be minor speeding offenses
Last edited by Australian rePublic on Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Cazistan
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Postby The Cazistan » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:03 pm

Candensia wrote:It might be a cultural thing, but as a dirty American the terms "police checkpoint" and "police roadblock" aren't entirely synonymous, I feel.

For me, roadblocks conjure up images of squad cars blocking all traffic, in an attempt to stop a fleeing suspect, like something out of Smokey and the Bandit. This contrasts with checkpoints, where the point is often to check licenses and enforce DUI laws.

In the description, I'd explicitly establish that we're talking about police checkpoints. In the options is where I'd sling out kinda-synonyms like "roadblock".

right the point of the roadblock is to well, BLOCK, whereas a checkpoint is used to filter traffic.

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Electrum
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Postby Electrum » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:20 am

Honeydewistania wrote:Typo in option two: crimes, not crims


It's slang.

As for the comments above regarding the terminology, I'll have a look at altering it.
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Electrum
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Postby Electrum » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:32 am

Alright, it's been edited :)
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Postby Candensia » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:00 pm

Okay, so basically I think this issue is suffering because it's not 100% clear what is being debated.

The @@DEMONYM@@ Police Force introduced checkpoints across major roads in @@NAME@@, citing security reasons. Aggrieved motorists complain that the checkpoints are really an excuse for cash-strapped police departments to find any reason to extract payments from drivers.


What do you mean by security reasons? What are these checkpoints supposed to combat? DUI? Drug smuggling? Not specifying why checkpoints exist makes it difficult to argue for or against them, since we don't know their specific purpose. This is evident in places like these:

Let us drive in peace by telling the police to prioritise the serious criminal cases over these trifling trivial traffic laws.


What pesky traffic laws? What are "serious criminal cases?"

These security checkpoints are important in disrupting criminal activities and ensuring the roads of @@NAME@@ are free from unroadworthy vehicles


Criminal activities like what? What sort of crime is being fought through checkpoints specifically? You can't possibly justify checkpoints to check for unroadworthy vehicles, that's seems like massive overkill, doesn't it?

For too long, the police have been enforcing these traffic laws arbitrarily.


Which traffic laws? Police obviously enforce "the law" but what specifically is in contention here?


Basically you need to replace "security reasons" in the premise with an actual reason. Maybe try something along these lines:

[desc] Police checkpoints have become increasingly common on @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ roads. Law enforcement officials insist checkpoints are necessary to combat DUI and drug trafficking, however some motorists claim that they're really just tools used by cash-strapped police departments to extract payments from drivers.


You'd start with an anti-checkpoint option. Your current option 1 works okay, though I'd make sure to advocate some sort of clear restriction on vehicle checkpoints, make it a bit less over the top, and don't have the speaker admit to bribery.

Then the pro-checkpoint option. Your option 2 works okay, but I'd tie it more closely to drug and alcohol enforcement (if you choose to adopt the DUI/Drug checkpoint premise). It should be understood that monetary gain by police is a motive, but I'd do so with a bit more subtlety.

So instead of:

"Anyway, it's well known that our budgets have been stretched thin lately. I'll tell you what - we could raise more money by doubling fines and increasing our fine collection quota. With your help, we can be less of a burden on your finances while giving a much needed pay rise for our officers."


Maybe make it more like:

"Anyway, it's well known that drunk drivers and drug smugglers are the dumbest scum on the roads. We should increase the criminal penalties and fines associated with these crimes, and use that money to back up our boys in blue."


I don't really advise retaining your current option 3. I know the validity stipulates high corruption, but still. Ultimately it's your issue though, so it's your call.

That brings us to the crazy option. Your current option 4 works...okay, but it seems like a kinda obvious crazy option. It's up to you, but maybe consider going a different direction: either (crazy anti-checkpoint & abolish DUI/drug laws) or (crazy pro-checkpoint & authoritarian crackdown) or something along those lines?
Last edited by Candensia on Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:07 am

[desc] The @@DEMONYM@@ Police Force introduced checkpoints across major roads in @@NAME@@, citing security reasons. Aggrieved motorists complain that the checkpoints are really an excuse for cash-strapped police departments to find any reason to extract payments from drivers.


I don't think police generally extract money at security checkpoints. Checkpoints might constitute an invasion of privacy, of course, and might slow the flow of traffic. However, I believe you might be conflating tolls with security checks.

If, as your link implies, this is actually an issue about police checkpoints being used to extort bribes for passage, then make that more explicitly the case in your premise.

I mean, why not just lift the premise entirely, and have it be about tourists being put off by the corrupt police checkpoints?
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Electrum
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Postby Electrum » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:37 pm

I've redrafted. I'm still not sure about the mix of options so would be interested to hear your opinions in that area.
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SherpDaWerp
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Postby SherpDaWerp » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:07 pm

Electrum wrote:wearing a 'I ❤ @@CAPITAL@@' t-shirt.

Character encoding on NS is a horrific hodge-podge of different systems (some unicode emoji-type characters work in mottos and not pretitles, for instance), and some users might have custom fonts without characters like "❤" , so I would just write "I Love @@CAPITAL@@" instead - it's more guaranteed to work.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:23 am

2nd draft is better, but it's not clear that the cops are being corrupt. It sounds instead as if cops are just being overzealous in law enforcement, and levying legitimate fines for the national coffers.

Is this what you were going for?
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