Friday, July 04, 2008

They never listen

Just four days after the "never again" murder of 16 year old Ben Kinsella comes the stabbing to death of another 16 year old by a group of "masked and hooded" yoofs in South London.

Residents said a group of about six black males and a mixed race female, dressed in hooded tops with scarves and balaclavas chased Shakilus around Beluah Crescent on bicycles.

No doubt this young teenager had transcended the "moral code" of this mob. Perhaps he was just in "the wrong place at the wrong time" as someone said about Ben Kinsella.

I hate seeing that phrase used when someone is brutally murdered. Why should anywhere in Britain be the "wrong place" to go to for anyone at any particular time? The expression belongs in the context of an improbable accident - like happening to walk under a piano falling from the 10th floor of an apartment block just as it crashes to the ground. That is being in "the wrong place at the wrong time".

But using the expression in reference to a brutal killing implies that there are, at times, no go areas for certain people. Worse still, it implies acceptance that this is the case. Perhaps the reason this was "the wrong place at the wrong time" is best summed up by a local resident.

Peter Gibbs, 60, said: "I have asked for more patrols and they never listen. There was as shooting around here last time and nobody came.

"It's a disgrace. I've seen gangs around and I am afraid. I want the police to do something about it but nobody helps. I feel terrified and so do the other residents. It's just not good enough."

Quite.

Nowhere in Britain should be the wrong place at the wrong time for anyone in the lawful pursuit of their daily lives. The fact there are no go areas for huge numbers of people - teenagers worried about crossing gang "boundaries", old folk too scared to go out after dark, parents who can't take their kids to the park because of feral yoofs hanging around drinking, swearing and behaving threateningly - all of these things are symptomatic of the police withdrawal from the streets.

Wrong place, wrong time should be something the lawbreakers worry about. They should be concerned that at any moment they might bump into a constable on his beat who will apprehend the criminal.

The police should stop be a purely reactive "service", get out of their shiny metal boxes and office blocks and get back on the streets on foot being a proactive force for the prevention of crime and disorder. That is what the people want, but it isn't what the Home Office or the police chiefs want.

As Peter Gibbs rightly said "they never listen".

6 comments:

Rob said...

The police will flood the area with officers for a day or two, while there is still media interest. When the media move on, so will the police.

JuliaM said...

"Nowhere in Britain should be the wrong place at the wrong time for anyone in the lawful pursuit of their daily lives. "

I suppose it is a sign of the times that yesterday, on leaving the station to go to work, I saw a white tent being erected in the high street and thought 'Oh, there must have been a killing last night'. We've all got used to seeing the white forensic tents on the news or locally after each stabbing and shooting.

Then I remembered we had a continental market down for the weekend...

TheFatBigot said...

There is also, of course, a link between this and your previous post about sex education, namely parents.

Setting standards for children can only help to reduce the risk of these little pieces of filth roaming around in gangs in the first place. It cannot eliminate it any more than teaching children stealing is wrong will eliminate theft. But without guidance there is little chance of children deciding these activities are unacceptable.

Will politicians be as forthright as they need to be? Of course not, pointing out that scum breed scum might lose votes from the weedy PC brigade so they have to be called "socially excluded" victims. It's all upside-down.

Stan said...

There is a link indeed, fb - and if you read my earlier post about the rule of law you'll see that I actually think the problem in all cases can be traced back to one thing - the dismantling of the shared moral code we obtained through Christianity and the misguided belief that the rule of law - by itself - was sufficient to maintain the rule of law.

TheFatBigot said...

I did read that post Mr Stan, but remain unconvinced that Christianity is a necessary part of it. The code existed before Christianity and, for example, Mr and Mrs Jew seem to muddle along nicely even today.

I agree that it can be helpful to have a reference point for a set of morals but, frankly, I couldn't care less what that reference point is provided the lesson taught to children is the correct one.

Stan said...

The code upon which our law is based didn't exist before Christianity, fb. People thought nothing about killing other people - including children - as part of some pagan ritual sacrifice.

Christianity is based on Judaism so it's hardly surprising that Mr and Mrs Jew muddled by seeing how they had the 10 commandments a few thousand years before we got hold of them.

Whether or not you are a Christian or atheist, the fact remains that law is based on the moral code and our laws are based on the Christian moral code. Thou shalt not commit murder, etc. I don't claim either that Christianity is necessary for the rule of law to be maintained - although I personally believe it is better than anything else - but what I am saying is that you can not have the rule of law where there is no agreed moral baseline. The post-modern culture of moral equivalence that asserts that any persons morality is as good as any others is wrong.

You don't have to be a Christian to live a life as moral as any Christian, but you DO have to have the same moral baseline.