It’s Your Own Fault, You Know…

Police warned people to be wary of using expensive phones in public following a spate of street robberies.

Officers are receiving reports of at least one mugging a day in Southend, Rochford, and Castle Point and have stepped up patrols.

Hmm, let’s try a little experiment:

“Police warned women to be wary of wearing short skirts in public following a spate of rapes.

Officers are receiving reports of at least one rape a day in Southend, Rochford, and Castle Point and have stepped up patrols.”

Anyone agree there’d be OUTRAGE! at such a statement? That letters to MPs, questions in Parliament and even sackings would follow?

So, why is this different?

Chief Insp Dave Colwell, district commander for Southend, said they were largely focusing on parks and other hotspots.He said: “We often patrol these areas.

“We have high-visibility policing with PCSOs and neighbourhood policing teams. We have also done some work around the schools, where we’ve tried to educate young people about their own safety.”

In other words, tried to tell them that they shouldn’t have nice things and if they do, better not have them on display or they are just tempting thieves.

What do you tell the girls in safety lessons, to wear a burkha? ‘Better keep the goods covered up, ladies…’

Chief Insp Colwell said: “Around parks and open spaces people need to be mindful of displaying expensive electrical equipment, such as phones and iPods.“These iPhones are particularly expensive, worth about £400 to £500, and there’s a market where they can sell these phones.

“People generally commit this crime against younger people who are very vulnerable.

They need to be aware of their own personal safety in such places, leaving phones around and having them on display.”

And how do the residents of the area feel about this ‘advice’?

Albert Wallace, chairman of Chalkwell Ward Residents’ Association, said: “We are very concerned about serious crime being committed in and around Chalkwell park and along the London Road.“We welcome any extra patrols, but what we would welcome most is the people responsible caught. That’s what we want them to do.

Quite.

How about giving it a try, CI Colwell? You never know, you might just surprise yourself…

11 comments for “It’s Your Own Fault, You Know…

  1. Roger
    June 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    There’s a sign, tied to a lamp-post, near my house: it asserts “Leave it on show, and it’s gonna go!” It’s a Police notice, warning people not to leave valuables in sight in their cars. Perhaps, if I now report a theft from my car, the Police would say ‘Well, we did warn you.’ So, they have done their jobs and it’s my own fault for not taking notice.

    Perhaps they really do have the same attitude to rape …

    • June 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      There is a classic version of the sign at most motorway service areas saying ‘Don’t leave valuables in your car’. It’s a service area for goodness sake, people are transporting things from one place to another, how the hell can you not leave them in the car while you are there?
      Basically it’s a get out clause for the authorities.

    • nemesis
      June 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      I can do better than that. In my area, police actually stole people’s belongings from unlocked cars and left notes to the effect that they could reclaim their goods from the police station. The purpose of which was to send a lesson to people to not leave their cars unlocked. Marvellous eh!

      • June 26, 2011 at 5:22 am

        Could they not be charged with theft? Or is theft OK when the police do it?

        • nemesis
          June 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

          That was my thought. Needless to say, I think the scheme has been quietly dropped.

          • Maaarrghk!
            June 27, 2011 at 10:04 am

            I think the legal definition of theft is to take property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property – not the intention in this instance.
            Perhaps Taking Without Owners Consent though…

  2. john in cheshire
    June 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Maybe the police force should be opened to competition. I’d prefer to pay directly to a chosen security company, for patrols and crime investigations in my area; I would then have the ability to sack the company if they don’t perform.

    • June 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Give people back their right to keep and bear arms. That would be true competition.

      • john in cheshire
        June 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm

        That’s my view too. But rather that we, the people should restore unto ourselves, a right that we still have but which has been withheld, by deception and deceit, by those who we pay to serve us.

    • Paul
      June 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      How would this work with a criminal justice situation? Or would we have separate criminal justice systems too?

  3. Maaarrghk!
    June 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I guess it’s all a case of where to draw a common sense line.

    I have every right to leave my car parked with the engine running and the family jewels on show on the back seat. If stolen it is entirely the fault of the thief and I do not see why I should be held responsible in any way. I did not do the thieving.

    But common sense says that there will always be bad people around and that we should take some reasonable precautions against the inconvenience of being robbed, assaulted etc.

    So sadly I will fork out for an alarm and crooklock. I will not go on foot in certain areas after dark. The cops can’t be everywhere and do we really want to have cctv everywhere?

    But I still do not see why I should be held responsible for a crime against me because I did not take enough precautions to prevent it.

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