Saturday, September 01, 2007

Groundhog Week

Beer Bottles
Another Friday, same old story
It seems pretty certain that if it wasn't fairly pointless repetition I could probably continue my rather depressing posting of a few days ago pretty much indefinitely.

There's such a sad familiarity with some of the stories that you have to read them carefully to make sure that it really is a completely new act of random violence that is being reported upon.

Thursday brought this, courtesy of the BBC:
Police have begun searching for a group of youths seen running away from where a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death.


The victim has not been identified because police are still trying to trace his family.

A post-mortem examination is to be held on Saturday. Two 16-year-old youths have been arrested in connection with the death.

Source: BBC News

Friday saw yet another mindless violent assault back in the Village at the same Pub where the previous week's violence still looks to be heading towards an attempted murder charge.

As yet the predicted 'eye-catching but pointless' policy proposals from the Government have yet to emerge, as the senior members of the government have preferred to concentrate on accusing anyone who has the temerity to suggest that there is a problem of 'scaremongering'.

For what it's worth I am prepare to accept the figures for some classes of violent crime are down. What is perfectly clear though is that this is not the perception of the public at large, and I'm not convinced that we in the general public are wrong in this perception.

Faced with this apparent contradiction, my personal belief that it is explained by the increasing randomness of some of the violence. There was a time when much violent behaviour could often be clearly associated with particular areas, or particular activities, such as football's thankfully largely eliminated problems of decades past. If you avoided these areas and these activities your chance of becoming an innocent victim of violent crime was pretty minuscule.

Today you cannot say the same with such confidence. A substantial part of the violence has its roots in segments of society that exist in every part of the country, such as younger, poorly educated men who seem to have scant regard for boundaries of acceptable behaviour that were once at least partially respected.

Perhaps some of the criticism of David Cameron's comments on 'Anarchy in the UK' are partially justified, but only insofar as he was perhaps guilty of a bit of hyperbole. What is not justified is the complacent reaction of Association of Chief Police Officers president Ken Jones when he...
...told BBC News violent crime was "at the lowest it has been since the mid-1990s".


He said he was therefore "baffled" by comments relating to high crime levels.

Source: BBC News

He went on to accuse 'people', by who he clearly must mean Cameron and his team of "distorting the figures for their own ends". I didn't actually notice any figures being distorted, and certainly Mr Jones gave no examples. David Cameron was just reflecting the concerns of the British people about this subject, and that is part of the job of the leader of the opposition.

As it happens, it should also be part of the job of Mr Jones and the members he represents.

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