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Thursday, March 24, 2005

 

Crime and punishment.

From my perspective I feel public behaviour has in general deteriorated. With this in mind I have a couple of questions about the title of this piece. What do the rest of you think?

There are a lot of nice, decent and honest people out there. There are also an increasing number for whom the law is merely an inconvenience which can be disobeyed at will. Found myself challenging this view from a bespectacled ten year old whilst patrolling car parks this afternoon.

Ten year old. “You one of these new Traffic Inspectors?”
Me “Yeah, I’m a Parking Officer.”
Ten year old. “You go putting tickets on peoples cars?”
Me. “If they break the parking rules, yes.”
Ten year old. “Don’t you feel bad about that?”
Me. “Not really, no.”
Ten year old. “Why?”
Me. “See all these cars? Most of these people have paid for their parking. I’m only after the ones that don’t.”
Ten year old. “Oh.”
Me. “I only put parking tickets on cars that cheat everyone else by not paying, or blocking the streets by stopping on the yellow lines. See?”
Ten year old. “You wouldn’t catch me.”
Me. “You’re too young to drive.”
Ten year old. “Don’t people get upset?”
Me. “Of course. They don’t give me much grief though.”
Ten year old. “Don’t they?”
Me. “Not very often. Most people are pretty okay when you explain things to them properly. Besides, I’m too ugly.”
Ten year old. “Oh right.”
Me. “See you later.”
Ten year old. “Bye.”

Maybe he’ll take it on board and grow up to not be a chav. One can live in hope.

My problem is that this “I can do anything I want” attitude is widespread, and causes a lot of grief to the law-abiding majority. Said wrongdoers are protected by less than honest others, to the detriment of the law abiding. The guilty are protected and create more problems for the innocent.

Might scrapping the human rights act, in light of the current situation not be such a bad thing? Should we should also consider reinstating the death penalty for the most serious offences? There are some for whom only the fear of God and eternity are a deterrent. If not, at least the re-offending rate for capital crimes would be 0%.

I know it’s a bit of a stretch from parking contraventions, but I think the points are valid.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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