A few weeks ago, one of my friends was victim of an attempted break in at his home.
Some youths had gone, at midday, and broken the glass in the door at the back of his house. They were startled and ran before they could properly get in, but still some damage had been done, both physically and mentally.
The goods news was that the youths were caught on CCTV, their faces clearly visible. The police recovered a water bottle and a screw driver, meaning that they had DNA and finger prints. The kids responsible also have prior – they’ve burgled other houses on the estate before.
And yet, the Police have decided not to do anything about it.
Last week a guy called Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, stabbed Henry Vincent to death when the latter tried to burgle his home in London armed with a screwdriver himself. Despite his cousin calling him a “such a loving person”, it turns out that Vincent was a career criminal who targeted pensioners by not just burgling them, but also with fraud and extortion.
Vincent was continually able to offend and yet the Police reacted with far more conviction by arresting Osborn-Brooks for murder. It took the authorities two days to decide not to charge him.
Now, I know there are lots of ins and outs on self-defence but I don’t know all the details of the injuries Vincent received. I have, however, regularly queried how a Rule of Law that seeks to maintain order by balancing scales can choose to protect the liberties of one person who so obviously cares so little for the liberties of others.
The point of this post, though, is that it seems quite sad that we live in a society where forcibly entering someone else’s home to take their stuff is no longer seen as proper crime that the police need to do anything about. National Police Chiefs’ Council boss Sara Thornton said in 2015 that the Police need to move away from these “traditional crimes” to concentrate on other things. Because there are now worse crimes, burglary has, in a way, become nearly socially acceptable and, not only that, but thinking otherwise could mean that you are the one that ends up in trouble.