UK streets: The truth about the state of 'Great' Britain
UK streets at night
As I write this article the screaming sound of sirens rip through the air like an acoustic beacon. The sound is as familiar to me as an ice cream truck is to a suburban child and it is becoming a nightly ritual. I have grown up in many urban areas and I know the first rule about night time travel; never go alone. If you take a trip around urban Britain you won't see men in top bowler hats, sipping tea and eating biscuits. What you will see are eyes of scorn following your every move like a pack of hungry wolves, praying on the weak and pouncing on the unfortunate. You can try to escape through the maze of alleyways, but what lies in the darkness cast by the terraced housing on either side is much worse.
Anti Social Behavior
The biggest problem that the British public face is anti-social behavior. In England and Wales, ASB crimes were reported over 184,000 times in the month of July, which is 10,000 higher than the month of June. If we take Manchester City as an example it is considered one of the highest crime areas in England. Looking at the pie chart on the right shows ASB far exceeding any other form of crime in that area. I once lived in Manchester and I have witnessed crime many times, most of which went unreported. Gangs of people would roam the streets ranging from 12 to 30 years of age; some of them would look for fights. The UK boasts strong gun and knife control laws, however there are some areas that even police will not travel through. Sometimes I wonder if the lack of police presence is done on purpose to allow violent crimes to happen. Why would the government care if someone on the dole was stabbed to death? It would be one less mouth they have to feed and look after.
Being part of the EU has made things worse as the freedom of movement allows anyone within the EU to enter, live and work in the UK without question. This has greatly benefited our economy, however on the other side it has allowed criminals from other countries to enter and most of them have no qualms about continuing their criminal activities. Here is a video from the West Midlands Police trying to raise awareness of ASB:-
As you can see it shows a teenager approaching two other teenagers about hanging out around his sisters house. The happy ending would rarely happen in the real world as the two lads wearing the masks would have probably smashed his head in and taken his phone. The 'Down with the kids' style in the video is cheesy and has little effect, evident by the 1,000 views it has - half of which probably work for the police.
Crime... And Punishment???
The Judicial system is a joke in the UK, as more and more people commit crimes the prison sentences seem to get shorter and shorter. In most cases there is no prison sentence the criminals involved will most likely have to wear a tag for a while. Here is a story about a youth causing trouble to his local shop; for protection we will call him Bob. Bob was a chap in his early twenties and he had numerous ASBO's (Anti Social Behavior Orders). Bob used to terrorize a local shop until one day they had enough and snapped a picture of him throwing a brick at their window. Bob was arrested and questioned, however his solicitor was able to get all charges dismissed. How? He claimed that bob was not throwing the brick, as he was merely defending himself from a brick that was thrown at him. As for the damaged window he concluded that it was a setup to have Bob arrested. The police found the evidence to be inefficient to convict Bob and he walked out with a smile on his face.
There is very little justice for victims and when they do finally see a criminal convicted they also see that they have access to Facebook and a PS4. Prisons do not seem to deter criminals anymore as there are more luxuries when serving a sentence than being a mentally ill patient recovering from a break down. I'm not saying that being in prison is an easy ride as I am sure the lack of freedom and constant abuse from other inmates makes it uncomfortable at times, however it is certainly not a place that installs fear into criminals. Between 2013 and 2014, the average cost per prisoner to the UK Government was £33,785. That means one person going to prison for one year will drain the tax payers of £33,785, which about 1.2 times the average national salary. Some inmates are serving life sentences which in the UK is on average 15 years prison time, which costs will £506,775 - not taking into account inflation.
The government needs to ensure it looks after the hard working people of Britain and unfortunately I know there are millions of people that feel vulnerable.