Last week I watched Tonight with Trevor McDonald on ITV. I never watch Trevor McDonald because I always get a feel that he thinks he is better that just about everyone else on Earth. I was quite excited to learn that the conservative politician Ann Widdecombe was reporting on her experience of two of London’s most crime ridden and undesirable areas. I gained a great deal of respect for this woman when I watched her deal with the hoodies and the crack addicts, she is one hell of a brave person.
Ann Widdecombe battled the hoodies on two estates on opposite sides of London. Last week she stayed on an estate where she questioned Police and “Anti Social Behaviour Officers” about the state of affairs. Her style of questioning and directness left them stumbling for words. They were obviously unable to justify why the CCTV cameras had been dysfunctional for so long. It is ridiculous and Ann is quite happy to tell anyone what she thinks of them. She spoke to residents who had been hounded by gangs of youths who mug and intimidate them on a daily basis. The people have had enough, but by the end of her visit she had also become a target for these misguided morons. In a completely typical display of immaturity they egged her car during the night.
This week’s edition was on the opposite side of London in a similar estate however firearms had been found on this housing lot as well as continued muggings. The police said they were frightened to walk the beat and a shopkeeper is only able to remain in business by keeping his stock behind metal bars. People on this estate have been attacked, crack addicts are frequent visitors sometimes causing mayhem. One resident reported to Ann that a person had been shot at her front gate “for not paying his drugs bill”.
The whole point of Ann visiting these degusting housing estates and seeing the way the “forgotten descent’s” as she calls them, live. This is England in 2007 she says. It is however curious that there were spotlights installed to replace the broken ones by the end of the programme this week. It seems that a visit from the Chief of Chicago Police got the complacent administrators of the estate to come through and get some lighting to help reduce the attacks and muggings.
I am fully in support of the American policy against youngsters trafficking drugs and committing “minor” felonies. If these estates in London and indeed the rest of England is going to maintain any kind of security for the people who are tying to live normal, peaceful lives then something has to be done about these “hoodies”
When asked about the hood a child told Ann that his hood made him feel safe and that he doesn’t care if it scares other people, even old women. This is the kind of attitude that remained typical among the offending youths in both neighborhoods. The drug problem was also apparent when Ann visited what was described as a crack house. There was a man there who was high and was unable to communicate effectively at all because of it. He was however able to admit that he realized it was illegal to be doing what he was doing. The gangs made their dis-pleasure with the prying questions of the MP known when they attacked her with a firework.
Just what the hell is the government doing about people like this? There are CHILDREN terrorizing average and senior citizens and the police seem less than motivated to stop them. Not only are the police unmotivated but the “Anti Social behaviour” teams that are sent out are absolutely useless. They are powerless and seem to spend most of their time photographing the litter!
What kind of world is it, when rent paying citizens have to bar their windows and stay in their homes in morbid terror just because it is after 3PM? Ann asks these difficult questions.
There needs to be a serious change in the way that these offending youths are dealt with. A no tolerance policy must be established. One offence and you should be arrested and charged with that offence. Not cautioned and told “not to do it again” As the people who live on these estates are quaking with fear at the very notion of leaving their homes after 3PM these gangs are the lawless inhabitants of the streets.
What is it going to take for hoodies around England to be dealt with?
The hoods should be made illegal to wear under the age of 20. I pick this age because people usually start to have some common sense around this time in their life. If hoodies were made illegal and if you were caught wearing one and it could be proved that you were underage, this would result in arresting the offender. It seems that not only arresting them but charging them with the offence is required. If they are issued an ASBO then they probably feel like it is some sort of badge of courage rather than a citation for inappropriate behaviour.
Ann Widdecombe was extremely effective in her documentary but the problem that it took a documentary report to actually motivate those in power to make the small changes to make the places on the programme better to live in is simply appalling. There is no reason why the CCTV cameras should be broken for more than a few hours. There is no reason why residents should have to have bars at their Windows and the police should be frightened to police the streets. I would really like to see some better action. If only Ann would run for Prime Minister…Fox Hunting would be gone as well!