Thursday, 11 August 2011

A schizophrenic attitude to temptation

I’m keeping off the subject of riots as such but one thing that does bug me is double standards.

If you have something like a laptop stolen from the back seat of your car the first thing the police will do is blame you for leaving it there. Indeed in Warwick services, where I stopped a couple of days ago, there were large yellow police notices all round the car park telling patrons not to leave valuables in their vehicles. (How you are supposed to empty your car or van while you go to the loo if you are going on holiday or transporting goods is not explained). I have also seen police advice, in their friendly little newspapers that they send round to justify their council tax precept instead of actually policing the area, not to leave valuable ornaments visible in your house window in case it tempts thieves.  Chances are, if such items were stolen, as once was my wallet from a briefly unattended jacket pocket (in a private building), the police will give you a crime number together with a lecture on taking care of your valuables and you may even  have a battle with your insurance company to get compensation if they consider you were careless.

Yet oddly, if you have an unmanned building full of laptops and new TVs in the high street, put them in the window and light them up at night to make them more attractive and even advertise their presence on TV and in the press, completely different rules apply. Suddenly it’s not the fault of the owner leaving them in plain sight to tempt the criminal when they are stolen, it’s the fault of the sick society and the scum who can’t resist temptation and who break in to steal them.  

Understand that I’m not defending thieves or criminals in any way or form, it should be safe to leave anything anywhere. What I want to know is why the attitudes of the police and authorities are so completely different. If you are Mr. Joe Public who accidentally leaves a piece of second hand kit visible it’s partly your own fault if it's stolen, but if you are a large commercial organisation like Currys that openly flaunts and advertises the presence of a similar but brand new item it’s the criminal who is to blame. Is this because nowadays corporations more important and have more political clout than people, or just that individual victims are easier for the police to ignore and fob off as only having themselves to blame?

Perhaps if the police had taken the one-off crimes more seriously, and blamed and caught the criminals instead of blaming the victims, crimes would not have escalated into so many mass thefts as they just have?

1 comment:

  1. Good question W42, good question! I believe the phrase follow the money has some bearing.....?