When Robert Anderson of Culcheth, Cheshire tried to report to the police that his property was being systematically vandalised by a gang of youths he was told nothing could be done as there was no evidence to point to any likely suspects.
Determined to protect his home while staying within the law, the next time the gang attacked Mr Anderson armed himself not with a shotgun or a baseball bat with nails through the end but with a camcorder. He started to film the attackers smashing his fence and garden in order to provide the police with the evidence they needed.
The gang turned on Mr. Anderson, knocking him down and beating and kicking him.
The police response to the 999 call was to arrive two hours later and tell this reasonable man he should not have tried to take the law into his own hands.
Several issues arise out of this case. First, we keep hearing Blair’s performing poodles claiming success in the “war on crime as they parade bogus and meaningless statistics around the media circus. Quite simply, where crime figures are falling it is because people have lost confidence in the police and no longer bother to report crimes like criminal damage. To do so can result in a beating, one’s car being torched or at the very least, turds through the letter box.
Second, the obsession with surveillance technology is a waste of money. It achieves nothing. Its OK for certain Guardian writers who have an teenage crush on Blair to dismiss objections to the spread of CCTV cameras as middle – class paranoia but the truth is we know the yobs quickly suss out where the cameras are and simply move their operations elsewhere.
Third, despite all the new criminal offences invented by this government and the millions of “crackdowns” announced each week by Wee Johnny Reid, the criminal justice system is a shambolic failure. A small minority of young people (usually males) are out of control and finding themselves in a position to make life misery for many quiet, inoffensive people without interference from the law, they have made it their favourite pastime.
Until the police and the courts are freed from constraints imposed by politicians, social workers and bureaucrats and can deal with young offenders effectively the vast majority of young people whose only offence is to be noisy and irritating occasionally (but they’re young, that’s their job) will be treated with hostility and suspicion quite unjustly.
What is happening is fair and just to nobody.
Since Little Nicky Machiavelli reported that a gang who were causing trouble in my area had learned the error of their ways after a group of neighbours, big blokes who can handle themselves, had “a word” we have seen no more trouble. Perhaps the penal system should be extended to include among punishments for young offenders the option of some big blokes who can handle themselves “having a word.”