Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Meanwhile, Back Out On The Streets...
Wouldn't it be great if we could just... I don't know... just find some way of repairing all those broken homes and somehow making those hoodie kids into responsible citizens who spend the weekends helping old people with their gardens?
Well, yes, Your Grace.... yes it would. That would be brilliant.
Unfortunately, nobody has the faintest idea how to do it. And meanwhile, back out on the streets - where wisely you no longer venture - violent crime continues to soar, and law-abiding citizens are left helpless victims by a police and justice system that is apparently no longer capable of intervening.
Item 1: the appalling murder of City lawyer Thomas ap Rhys Pryce by two teenage street thugs. You could hardly bear to listen to his fiance's "impact statement"- "There are no more tomorrows here for me and Tom — all our hopes and dreams have been brutally torn away."
Item 2: the new academic research which shows that such thugs often carry out their crimes for the thrill as much as for the financial gain:
"It weren't even for money. I had money. It was more like the buzz you get from doing things," one interviewee said.
The report's authors said part of the excitement for offenders came from overpowering and dominating the victim."
Item 3: the sevenfold increase in robberies over the last twenty-five years. In 1980 there were 15,000 recorded robberies: last year there were around 100,000.
Item 4: the latest shocking developments in Primrose Hill. We've blogged the lawless Hill before, where because of the total lack of Met policing, residents have had to hire their own private security firms to patrol the streets.
Now Tyler's friend there- who like other residents has been routinely threatened by local thugs- reports that he actually photographed one of the ringleaders committing multiple offences out in their street, while riding a presumably stolen motorbike. Evidence in hand, he requested the police to take action.
As usual they ignored him, but after threatening to supply the pix to a national newspaper, he eventually got a home visit. From four officers. Four armed officers.
They advised him not to pursue the matter. They explained that if he went ahead, then the hoodlum in question would have to be given a copy of the photos and would soon work out from the angles etc who had taken them. At which point, Tyler's friend might well get stabbed.
Their considered advice was for him to take it up with the Met Commissioner (Sir Ian Bonkers Blair- !), or the Mayor (Red Ken- !!), or his local MP (Frank Dobbo Dobson- !!!!!).
Item 5: the experience of a supermarket checkout operator of my acquaintance this morning. She'd intially gone to work without her glasses. But popping back home to get them, she found a burglary in progress- they'd sledge-hammered the door down and were ransacking her home. She was so terrified she hid in the garage.
Conclusion: Violent crime- ie the crime we actually worry about- is soaring. Despite the fact that we're currently spending £30bn pa - or £1200 per household- on Public Order and Safety.. That's enough to treble the number of prison places and still have £20bn left over for everything else.
Why do we let our rulers get away with it? They have absolutely no idea how to reform these thugs. No idea at all. And yet they continue to wibble and wobble and hold earnest discussions- like the one on Today this morning- which presume there is some "solution". And they continue to maintain that 20 years inside is quite enough to deter street murderers.
Meanwhile innocent people like my friend and the checkout operator are suffering the consequences.
As I keep telling my friend, in the absence of action by the Met, Major Frobisher's associate, Mr Gomulka, could easily arrange for the Hill's local thugs to receive an "educational visit" from some Albanian colleagues of his. Primrose Hill can afford it... whip round down the street... for a couple of hundred quid apiece they could get the whole thing sorted.
And we could then set up a collection to help the really vulnerable people on sink estates to do the same.
Posted by Mike D at 4:16 pm