Let me be clear about one more thing tho
Violent crime and gangs obviously exist. Defunding - and even abolition - are not arguing that they don't. What they are arguing is that militarizing the police and treating crime as a war is 1) ineffective 2) costly, both in absolute terms and in the opportunity cost of $ that could be better spent on solutions to social problems that cause crime in the first place. Less cops, less fancy gear for cops, less elite units, less overtime, more social workers, mental health and substance abuse counselors, programs to help homeless people find steady housing, investment to provide opportunities in underserved communities.
Most people here probably understand this distinction, but just in case.
Yes but the issue is more fundamental than that, which is why attempts at restorative justice under capitalism end up devolving into micro-fiefdoms.
The issue, as such, is not the governmental or non-governmental state as Proudhon thought of it (all states in the first instance govern on behalf of a class.) Neither is it that property is theft, all the surplus value the capitalist extracts is hers by the standards of democratic right.
The issue is that crime can only exist as crime proper in a society which treats property as ownership sanctified by legal right, I.E: the courts, judiciary, legislature, and in exceptional circumstances the police (or in less developed countries or those cleaving to fascism, extra-parliamentary paramilitary thugs.)
What is crime? A kind of exclusion from the usufructuary use of land by the human community as such. It is all very good talking about more social work, more substance abuse counsellers, more employment opportunities, but here the issue is also that policing must be conceived as a mechanism of the capitalist state. In this sense, I find it absurd for instance that certain bohemian anarchist idiots will call teachers proto-cops, but actual policing mechanisms such as psychiatric wards are given a free pass.
To be clear. I'm not ridiculing attempts to get people out of crime. I just think this idea that policing is cost ineffective is not sufficiently penetrative enough. After all, capital is neither rational nor efficient.