Stop burglars, hire troops


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Faithless
December 5, 2004, 01:59 PM
Link (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-1388368,00.html)

The Sunday Times

December 05, 2004

If New York can tame them, so can we
Americans say London’s increasingly lawless streets resemble New York’s in the 1980s. ‘Zero tolerance’ changed all that. Now British police have to follow suit, experts tell Jack Grimston

Hampstead Garden Suburb was one of the jewels of the Edwardian town planning revolution. For nearly a century its mix of Arts and Crafts cottages and grand mansions among woodland and lawns in northwest London seemed an idyllic community, only seven miles from the heart of the capital.

No longer. Former Gurkha soldiers now patrol pavements, flush out intruders and escort scared residents into their homes. A security firm on the suburb’s website offers “plainclothes, alarm, armed response, internal theft and loss prevention services”.

Rosemary Gardener, an artist living in one of the grander houses, has felt the dread grow daily. Both her elderly neighbours were mugged, she was robbed twice and her car broken into three times. The police did a good follow-up job but she lost faith in their ability to prevent more crimes.

Then one afternoon she saw a prowler peering through a window. Ducking under her kitchen table, she watched as an axehead smashed through her front door. Her collie dog, Tulip, confronted the intruder, a tall blond man in black.

“She was barking at him and he was kicking at her, trying to shut her up and swiping at her with a steel bar,” Gardener said last week. “I was so scared I just stayed crouched there while he bashed my poor dog over the head. He smashed her skull into pieces, so goodness knows what he would have done to me if he had found me.”

Gardener (not her real name) was an eager subscriber when her neighbours clubbed together soon afterwards to set up a security firm employing former soldiers to mount patrols on their streets that the police did not provide.

“When I come home I call them as I am approaching the road and a Gurkha always meets me from my car and escorts me to my front door and carries my bags,” she said.

The well-heeled residents of Upper Cheyne Row in Chelsea also took their security into their own hands after a crimewave in their street, one of the richest in Britain. But the security cameras they installed could not prevent a murderous attack last week.

Intruders stabbed John and Homeyra Monckton in the hallway of their four-storey home at 7.30 on Tuesday evening. Monckton, a City fund manager, bled to death; his wife was saved by an ambulance crew called by the couple’s nine-year-old daughter.

The attack was one of a series of high-profile crimes this year that have stoked middle-class fears of crime in the capital. One night in August Amélie Delagrange, a French student, was clubbed to death on Twickenham Green, west London. The following month Derek Robinson, a retired paediatrician, was stabbed to death with his wife, Jean, at their home in Highgate, north London. In October Robert Symons, a businessman who had retrained as a teacher, was also stabbed to death at home in Chiswick, west London.

Increasingly, residents feel afraid to walk the streets at night. And even at home they feel vulnerable: London’s elegant townhouses not only act as beacons to criminals but also open straight onto the pavement, offering little defence against invasion.

“It’s an insidious fear that creeps up on one,” said Vanya Lambert, a neighbour of the Moncktons. Other neighbours have suffered burglaries and knifepoint muggings.

Throughout the capital well-to-do enclaves are trying to protect themselves. Private security firms patrol parts of Kensington, St John’s Wood, Primrose Hill and Little Venice. But the number of attacks continues to rise. The number of people mugged in October was up by 16% in London compared with the same month last year — and by 70% in Chelsea.

Figures collated for Civitas, the think tank, show that muggings used to be rare. Between 1893 and 1941 there were never more than 400 a year recorded in England and Wales. Between February and December 2001 there were at least 400 a month in the London borough of Lambeth alone.

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beerslurpy
December 5, 2004, 02:08 PM
I could say something, but all of my suggestions would probably seem really obvious to most people here.

RevDisk
December 5, 2004, 02:13 PM
Are the former Gurkha soldiers unarmed? If so, there is only so much they can do. It's better than nothing. Criminals go after weak targets, not targets guarded by grunts.

In my opinion, the lack of RKBA in England is the government's way of keeping people dependent on the government. Job security, I suppose. Why trust any government that doesn't trust you?

agricola
December 5, 2004, 02:39 PM
Of no more use than to further illustrate my point about the press and its determination to scare people. The last paragraphs are telling enough in this regard:

In contrast with London, the north of England has enjoyed a revolution in policing triggered by local government reform. Ray Mallon, alias “Robocop”, was hailed for bringing down crime when he was a senior police officer in Middlesbrough. He has been successfully pursuing Brattonesque methods since becoming the town’s first directly elected mayor. Crime in the year to July was down 11%.

The irony is that, if these American and northern ideas reach London, they will revive an attitude to policing that was born in the capital nearly two centuries ago.

When Sir Robert Peel, as home secretary, set up the Metropolitan police in 1829 he told constables “to recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them”.

Robberies in the Metropolitan Police District are down 7.7% over the past twelve months; muggings 6.9%; burglaries 9.1%; thefts from motor vehicles 11.5% and total crime down 1.4% - this on top of last years, which saw falls in the same categories. Yet that article leaves one with the impression that crime is rising

Of these three cases mentioned:

The attack was one of a series of high-profile crimes this year that have stoked middle-class fears of crime in the capital. One night in August Amélie Delagrange, a French student, was clubbed to death on Twickenham Green, west London. The following month Derek Robinson, a retired paediatrician, was stabbed to death with his wife, Jean, at their home in Highgate, north London. In October Robert Symons, a businessman who had retrained as a teacher, was also stabbed to death at home in Chiswick, west London.


Two people are awaiting trial for the last two cases, and in each case they were caught within a few days.

Why does the media keep doing this?

Brick
December 5, 2004, 02:58 PM
Well a well armed Gurkhas can't prevent a hot burglary when he's not there.

Eg. The Gurkha can escort you to your home and carry your bags, and be a nice person. But when he leaves... :what: :what:

Agricola, they do that to give a bad impression to the people who wake up, drink some coffee and read the paper, then head off to work.

Why don't they invest in some decent firearms training...
http://www.olegvolk.net/gallery/albums/arms/instructor_gift.sized.jpg

Thanks to Oleg Volk.

Gunsnrovers
December 5, 2004, 03:11 PM
Two people are awaiting trial for the last two cases, and in each case they were caught within a few days.

And this helps the dead victims how?

agricola
December 5, 2004, 04:28 PM
gunsnrovers,

not a lot, but it is good to know murderers are caught and face justice - and the ommission of that fact from the article is shocking.

Azrael256
December 5, 2004, 05:14 PM
Are the former Gurkha soldiers unarmed? Heheh, you're kidding, right? A ghurka without a weapon is like one with out his... er... you can guess.

Standing Wolf
December 5, 2004, 08:27 PM
The police did a good follow-up job but she lost faith in their ability to prevent more crimes.

Cops don't prevent crime. They write reports on crimes.

Moparmike
December 5, 2004, 08:46 PM
Cops don't prevent crime. They write reports on crimes.

Bingo. Armed citizens prevent crimes. If someone is going to bash my door in and go after my dog, you can bet the last place I will be is under my kitchen table. That burglar will get a damn close look at the loud end of a 12ga.


But I do recall something I read on THR: The bad part about being a THR member is that when someone is breaking into your house, you will probably be taking too long deciding which gun to grab and be killed in front of your safe... :uhoh: ;)

Hawkmoon
December 6, 2004, 12:53 PM
Of these three cases mentioned:

Quote:
The attack was one of a series of high-profile crimes this year that have stoked middle-class fears of crime in the capital. One night in August Amélie Delagrange, a French student, was clubbed to death on Twickenham Green, west London. The following month Derek Robinson, a retired paediatrician, was stabbed to death with his wife, Jean, at their home in Highgate, north London. In October Robert Symons, a businessman who had retrained as a teacher, was also stabbed to death at home in Chiswick, west London.


Two people are awaiting trial for the last two cases, and in each case they were caught within a few days.

Why does the media keep doing this?
I'm greatly relived that some alleged perps are in custody, but that doesn't alter the fact that three people are DEAD. I prefer the earlier quote, about the true test of the efficacy of the police being the absence of crime rather than the efficiency of reporting on crimes as they occur.

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