Vigilantes or Neighbourhood Watch?

  john bunyan 12:48 11 Aug 2011

There are a number of examples of local groups getting together to defend their property from the recent spate of looting, arson, vandalism etc. Turks, Pakistanis, Sikhs and others have formed what seem to be a good co-operative system of neighbourhood watches, as there will never be enough police to be able to cope in the case of widespread problems. The problem comes if such groups become, or are seen to become, dominated by the extreme right wing, giving more problems than they sole for the police. However maybe, in vulnerable areas, maybe there is a case for an enhanced “Neighbourhood Watch” scheme that could get enough local people out to deter vandals, or, ideally to make citizen arrests if the crime warrants it. A difficult issue to know what is best, but if I lived in a place such as Ealing where “feral rats” (as described by one shopkeeper) rampaged, I would be happy to join such a scheme.

  wee eddie 13:03 11 Aug 2011

It is very sad but, as the Police no longer seem to be able to offer any form of protection, I cannot blame those that form such groups.

  Quickbeam 13:26 11 Aug 2011

Vigilantism is what you get when the public perception of the official policing methods are seen to have failed in the public's eyes.

But as always we will be seen to be giving more consideration to the physical wellbeing and the human rights, of scumbag urban terrorists, over the law abiding citizen's human right to expect to live in a well ordered and safe society.

  interzone55 13:36 11 Aug 2011

Look back at the late 80's & early 90's, the police were going through one of their intermittent "Zero Tolerance" phases.

I was stopped & searched twice within a fortnight whilst walking through Manchester centre in the evening.

Now as I was doing nothing wrong, and my pockets & rucksack contained nothing more than wallet, keys, books etc I was soon on my way.

I'm white by the way, so being stopped was quite unusual, a couple of black friends were stopped several times a week at one point, and this got to be a cause for real concern.

I'm with fourm member here, there is a middle ground between no police and Judge Dredd, and it will take some time to find the sweet spot. There's two things I'm quite sure of though, now is the wrong time to making cuts to the police budget and the cuts will still go ahead...

  Quickbeam 13:48 11 Aug 2011

"...there is a middle ground between no police and Judge Dredd"

Unfortunately we are at, and have been for too long, at the Mary Poppins end of the rose garden.

  HondaMan 14:15 11 Aug 2011

no longer seem to be able

IMHO should read "no longer able"

  spuds 18:35 11 Aug 2011

Its strange really, how some police force personal are still very much against Neighbourhood Watch schemes, and regard policing is solely for the police to do. Yet at the same time we have community participation ideas or projects, of beat bobbies and PCSO's becoming involved in advising the public on how people should perhaps protect their neighbourhoods!.

In my own area, we had a number of Neighbourhood Watch groups which no longer exist, mainly due to the younger generation not wanting to become involved, possibly due to lost leisure time on a fairly regular basis.

But having said that, it is a known fact that some areas around the city that I live, there are already formed community groups who will protect their own neighbourhoods. All that arose from a previous riot we had many years ago, when many family business's were ruined through a few days of madness, plus trying to claim from insurance companies who were not too generous or sympathetic in redeeming a families livelihood.

A point perhaps worth a mention. A few months ago, the EDL had a meeting in the town centre, which cost the council and police (taxpayer) over £103.000.00 for security arrangements, overtime payments etc. The stores and shop owners had to provide their own arrangements regarding damage control. Most stores closed very early, because of possible pending problems. There were a few arrests, but nothing on the scale anticipated. At the same time those who had formed neighbourhood protection groups, were at the ready (not standing on street corners or in groups, but at the ready) should any problems have reached their areas. This was not reported in the national press, but it was in the local press.

It can be very surprising what local communities can or will do at times of real need, and I think that there a possibility of this increasing, if the government doesn't take the necessary actions, especially if it means a family or community are going to lose its livelihood?.

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