“We wouldn’t hurt a fly” – a sentence rapidly becoming less and less applicable to our 21st century society.
Considering that generally crime rates, within the UK, have been seen to decrease over the years, The Office of National Statistics recorded a 1% increase in shoplifiting, an 8% increase in theft from person and a 9% increase in sexual offences in the year ending June 2013. The world, it seems, is becoming a more and more dangerous place to live.
Children grow up nowadays, unaware of the dangers – or unfazed by them. Such crimes are now considered as normal as rain and are reported in the news, almost, as a frequent feature. In fact, The Guardian newspaper has a whole online section devoted to crime.
These atrocities of greed and threats don’t seem to appall people as they should. All crimes, of course, are awful and, to most, are incomprehensible. But they’ve lost their menacing influence. Most people, myself included, live day through day knowing that they are more than likely to be subject to crime at least once whether it be theft, burglary or something more sinister.
What shocks me the most, however, is knife crime. Who on earth thought that walking the streets with a knife in your pocket would be as popular as free burgers up at Glen Eyre or the ballroom dancing taster session? When did children start being born with stomachs that would allow them to pierce someone with a knife and casually walk away?
Everyone knows what goes on in this world with regard to crime; the fact that people are hurt on a daily basis for no apparent reason is a given. But when it has become such an embedded part of our culture and society, there seems to be a certain apathy. How can anyone help a situation that is so uncontrollable and large? Without risking your own life or limbs, there are very few options.
Deterrents for criminals are practically non-existent. Prison cells are like 2 star hotels, if not more prestigious. Active awareness is an ailing concept. Government ministers are too focused upon battling one another. And celebrities, for all their money and the media attention, decide to clothe their children in designer clothes, buy dogs to fit in their handbags and splash themselves, erotically, over the countless magazine pages. There is little support for victims and little help for attackers.
The whole subject of crime perplexes me. Never have I felt greedy enough to hold someone at knife point until they surrender their freshly drawn money. Never have I been malicious enough to tackle someone for their bag. Nor have I ever wanted to lead anyone astray and physically or emotionally harm them. But, it seems, other people have.
Where is the incentive to tackle crime? To get dangerous people off the streets? To stop frightening members of the general public? As a member of the United Kingdom, who should people feel alone and vulnerable? Why are we allowing crimes to be swept under our (metaphorical) carpet?
I often wonder how such an advanced race can have such poor social developments in places. I dread to think of how the world will be in a decades time. Will the issue of crime have subsided? Or will it be higher than ever? If it is the latter, perhaps children will be brought up to be immune to the fear of it. They’ll be educated in the conventions of crime and criminal minds. The word ‘gang’ will apply to every friend group. Foreigners of society will be easily identified; they’ll be the ones paying for their groceries.
Somewhere along the line, someone has to make a stand and do something in order to keep knives in the kitchen, thuggery in World Wrestling and fear at bay.