Monday, October 27, 2008


With the nights drawing in GMTV this morning featured an report on girls walking around at night. We started off on a street corner where a girl had been stabbed and then an (ex?) police officer stalked some girls. We watched a girl taking a short-cut along a badly lit park path and he stopped a girl who was walking along talking on her mobile and listening to music through her headphones "Were you aware of me?" he asked.

That's right girls 'Be Vigilant", be aware of your surroundings and don't cripple your senses with phones and music. I found what the entire report really emphasised was "Be afraid"; strain your senses to the utmost, what was that noise, is that man following you, is that man coming towards you about to pull a knife? Be afraid, fear everyone as they all might be out to get you, don't you know that someone was stabbed here only last week, what are you doing out here, why didn't you stay at home? What the hell are you doing walking along that path when there's a brightly lit on that serves the same purpose it's a short-cut that could leave you dead!

Sorry I'm fed-up of it. Yes don't walk along cocooned in your own little world of music, don't head off down unlit paths if you can help it (incidentally all these things apply as much to men as to women), but is there really such a need to scare anyone?

Details from Apr07-Mar08 using population of 96,981; 5,263,708; and 49,138,831 respectively the table as a percentage appears as follows:

Type of OffenceWyre ForestWest MidlandsEngland
Violence Against the Person1.450%1.831%1.824%
Wounding or Other Act Endangering Life0.013%0.032% 0.028%
Other Wounding0.838%1.013%0.836%
Harassment Including Penalty Notices for Disorder0.203%0.383%0.437%
Common Assault0.313%0.261%0.389%
Theft from the Person0.119%0.101%0.181%
Criminal Damage Including Arson1.800%1.806%1.966%
Burglary in a Dwelling0.387%0.538%0.548%
Burglary Other than a Dwelling0.636%0.631%0.584%
Theft of a Motor Vehicle0.319%0.330%0.326%
Theft from a Motor Vehicle0.519%0.761%0.829%
Now I can't mine this data, but I'd be interested to discover the percentages for daytime/night-time incidents, as well as circumstances of location. To put in another way how many of the "Violence Against the Person" occurred outside a pub etc. As it stands in England you have an 2 in 25 chance of being involved in one of these incidents per year. If you take into account that some places and people feature more then once that alters your odds for the better.

Everyone still afraid?


Anonymous said...

I was thinking much the same just a few minutes ago. We hear so much about the days when everyone left their front door open, but on the other hands my parents have for years always left the hall light on when going out at night, just to avoid coming into an empty house. This is something it wouldn't occur to me to do. I'm not sure whether this is a real generational difference or just that I'm not yet old enough not to feel invincible, but either way there is a difference in attitudes between people of my age and people of theirs.

FlipC said...

I think location may have a large part to play I know my godparents before they moved to New Zealand never used to lock their door, they lived in the middle of no-where; and in some smaller villages this is still the case.

I also know some people who leave a landing light on, but that's solely so as to be able to see what they're doing when they come back in without fumbling around.

As for invincibility I don't feel invincible, but at the same time I don't believe everyone's out to mug me, stab me, or otherwise hurt me. I apply common sense to situations, but I'm not constantly looking over my shoulder, which is the tone I read in this report.

Anonymous said...

No, I am constantly looking over my shoulder wondering if somebody is going to attack me. But that's because I'm a paranoid delusional freak, and it ruines my life. We shouldn't be encouraging normal, happy people to feel this way.

Don't take unecessary risks please, but there's really no need to walk around all day in a state of abject terror.

Anonymous said...

I don't keep looking over my shoulder, but that's because I have good hearing and would hear anyone sneaking up behind me. The only time I am constantly looking over my shoulder is when I'm on my bike in traffic - but that's because people actually are trying to kill me. Even then, you quickly learn to tell by sound roughly how far over and how far back a vehicle is, what type it is, and how fast it's moving. I only ride in a car every few months, and in between times I get so used to being able to see and hear everything around me it freaks me out to be caged in this tiny steel and triplex coffin on wheels. No wonder Hummers are popular - even the biggest cars feel claustrophobic to me.

FlipC said...

I use my hearing a great deal too, so much so that I simply don't understand those who walk, ride, or drive with music blaring out. About the only time I have music on in the car is when I have company and they want to listen to some, or if I'm sat in a queue.

It's not paranoia I'm not on a bike so people aren't actively trying to kill me, it's more akin to walking around with a light bandage around your eyes - why would anyone do that if they didn't have to?

Talking to friends who do this (the music not the bandage) the response is normally something along the lines of 'It's just something to to listen to' something to occupy the brain while it gets on with the automatic reactions that is walking or driving; explains a lot though.

Don B said...

I am always puzzled by those drivers who have the radio blearing away, the windows closed and blow their horns when going round a blind corner on the assumption that other drivers will take avoiding action. Odd when they can't hear the car blowing its horn coming towards them.