• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

Picking one's battles when it comes to crime intervention

bigfield

the baby-eater
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
4,580
Location
Straya
Basic Beliefs
yeah nah
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/...ies-beach-family/story-fni6uo1m-1226947101288

A CHRISTIES Beach family is living in dread after a father-of-three’s head was repeatedly stomped on and a large rock was thrown through their front window in a series of senseless attacks.

Doctors told Shane Ransome he was lucky to survive the brutal attack when three men set on him outside his Eliza*beth Rd home on May 22.


Mr Ransome, 47, was putting out his rubbish at night when he made a comment to three men who were upturning his neighbours’ bins.

The guy saw three young men upturning bins, told them off, and in response they nearly killed him, attacked his property, and have terrorised him and his family.

He was only trying to do the right thing, and certainly did not deserve to be assaulted, but he also demonstrated a severe failure to think before acting. Things could have much worse: He could have been killed, his family could have been seriously hurt, and his house and property could have suffered much greater damage.

What makes the case more absurd is that Ransome's life, and the wellbeing of his family, is worth far more than a few wheelie bins. He wasn't even coming to an assault victim's defence.

Apart from the sheer pointlessness of the violence, the case illustrates a point: intervening in crime can carry a high risk of harm to oneself. Sometimes all one can reasonably do is call the police from a safe distance.

I think cases like this provide some perspective on the recent "What do you do about [crime]" threads. Keep others out of harm's way whenever you can do so safely, but don't intervene in a crime in progress or imminent crime unless you are prepared for things to turn very ugly for you.

Unless you're Hickdive, who has a bat cape and rocket car, and therefore is fully equipped to deal with all violent criminals.
 

Underseer

Contributor
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
11,413
Location
Chicago suburbs
Basic Beliefs
atheism, resistentialism
This sounds too much like the same "blame the victim" song that gets sung at rape victims.

You should have dressed more conservatively.

You shouldn't have had that second drink.

You should only appear in public with a male escort of some kind for protection.

Blah, blah, blah. So this guy told off some punks who were committing vandalism? So what?
 

fast

Contributor
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
5,293
Location
South Carolina
Basic Beliefs
Christian
This sounds too much like the same "blame the victim" song that gets sung at rape victims.

You should have dressed more conservatively.

You shouldn't have had that second drink.

You should only appear in public with a male escort of some kind for protection.

Blah, blah, blah. So this guy told off some punks who were committing vandalism? So what?

I blame cops for writing the speeding tickets.:tombstone:
 

Under the Rose

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,301
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
Basic Beliefs
Natural Cycles
It's a tough call sometimes but in a similar vein, when I was a member of our local volunteer fire department, the first thing that was stressed to us as first responders was personal safety. Yes, it was our assignment to go to the rescue of persons and property but we were always to exercise caution and judgement to not put the personnel (and to a lessor degree, the equipment) at risk because that would only escalate the problem.

Keeping one's perspective can be difficult when one is driven by a sense of urgency, or in the case of the example in the OP, a sense of impropriety.

In watching the news of late, there has been far too much senseless violence. :(
 

prideandfall

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
2,099
Location
a drawer of inappropriate starches
Basic Beliefs
highly anti-religious agnostic
Blah, blah, blah. So this guy told off some punks who were committing vandalism? So what?
so, if it's understood that if you come across a wild dog that has its hackles up and is growling at you, it's a really bad idea to start shouting at it because it may attack you, why is it not understood that the human equivalent of raised hackles and growling means it's a really bad idea to start shouting at them?
 

Unbeatable

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
691
Location
PA
Basic Beliefs
moral and existential nihilism, igtheism, dysteleology, pragmatic methodological naturalism
This sounds too much like the same "blame the victim" song that gets sung at rape victims.
So you're opposed categorically to the very idea that there exist actions which are ill-advised because of the risks they incur? Do you not think it's possible to draw a distinction between actions like going to clubs/parties for the sake of having fun and actions like confronting someone you suspect to have criminal intentions for the purpose of preventing them from committing a crime? Do you have any thoughts on whether/to what extent a person should intervene to stop/prevent a crime?

There are people in the "what do you to about rape" and "what do you do about murder" threads criticizing one another, either for doing too much or for not doing enough, in terms of protecting other people from crime. Where do you stand? To what extent should a person put their own safety at risk to protect someone else? To what extent should a person put their own interests at risk to protect those of someone else? If there even a right or wrong thing to do in your eyes?
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,687
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Your gun laws at work.


Toughs know they can act with near impunity.
 

spikepipsqueak

My Brane Hertz
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
4,426
Location
Victoria
Basic Beliefs
Nil
Your gun laws at work.


Toughs know they can act with near impunity.

There were no guns in play for this incident.

Toughs will always be more likely to use force to get what they want. By definition. Why you would want to give them easy access to firearms is beyond me.
 

Unbeatable

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
691
Location
PA
Basic Beliefs
moral and existential nihilism, igtheism, dysteleology, pragmatic methodological naturalism
Your gun laws at work.


Toughs know they can act with near impunity.

There were no guns in play for this incident.

Toughs will always be more likely to use force to get what they want. By definition. Why you would want to give them easy access to firearms is beyond me.
Obviously, toughs getting access to firearms is just an unintended side-effect of what he actually wants, which is to give law-abiding citizens like Shane Ransome easy access to firearms with which they might be able to deter or shoot toughs.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Traditional Atheist
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
Messages
9,032
Location
PA USA
Basic Beliefs
egalitarian
Your gun laws at work.


Toughs know they can act with near impunity.

There were no guns in play for this incident.

Toughs will always be more likely to use force to get what they want. By definition. Why you would want to give them easy access to firearms is beyond me.
Obviously, toughs getting access to firearms is just an unintended side-effect of what he actually wants, which is to give law-abiding citizens like Shane Ransome easy access to firearms with which they might be able to deter or shoot toughs.
The temptation is to intervene, but the smart thing to do is let it go. Maybe if you're 6' 7" and weigh 320 pounds go for it. But if you don't have a chance of scaring the shit out of someone or besting them in a brawl the smart thing to do is let it go.

I always kept on the good side of the local hoodlums. Some of my neighbors weren't as wise. You gotta live in the real world.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,687
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Your gun laws at work.


Toughs know they can act with near impunity.

There were no guns in play for this incident.

Toughs will always be more likely to use force to get what they want. By definition. Why you would want to give them easy access to firearms is beyond me.

I know there were no guns--that's the point. In a society without guns the tough guys can act with impunity. What you are missing is that in the US where people may be armed the tough guy will think twice before casually attacking someone that has annoyed them. There are no meaningful consequences from their actions.

That doesn't mean they would use a gun in that situation, that would bring a major police response.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,725
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Your gun laws at work.


Toughs know they can act with near impunity.

There were no guns in play for this incident.

Toughs will always be more likely to use force to get what they want. By definition. Why you would want to give them easy access to firearms is beyond me.

I know there were no guns--that's the point. In a society without guns the tough guys can act with impunity. What you are missing is that in the US where people may be armed the tough guy will think twice before casually attacking someone that has annoyed them. There are no meaningful consequences from their actions.

That doesn't mean they would use a gun in that situation, that would bring a major police response.

In the US, a more likely result is that somebody would end up dead, rather than just injured.

A person getting his head stomped is a bad outcome. I fail to see how a person getting shot is an improvement.

Guns lead to escalation. If the homeowner had a gun - or could be reasonably expected to have a gun - then the 'toughs' would feel the need to be armed too; and both parties would be aware that being the first to initiate violence was the only viable course of action - having a gun doesn't protect you from being shot, unless you use yours before he uses his.

Lets look at some likely results:

1) Nobody is armed - this is what actually happened. The homeowner gets an undeserved kicking.
2) Everybody is armed - the homeowner tells the 'toughs' off. The 'toughs' draw guns on the homeowner. The homeowner, and possibly one or two of the 'toughs', end up shot dead.
3) Only the 'toughs' are armed - the homeowner tells the 'toughs' off. The 'toughs' draw guns on the homeowner. The homeowner ends up shot dead.
4) Only the homeowner is armed - Perhaps the 'toughs' back off when threatened with a gun. They either return later and vandalise his property; or they return with guns of their own, and shoot him dead. Perhaps they don't back off when threatened. They either take the guy's gun and shoot him with it; or he is forced to shoot one or more of them.

In all three cases 2, 3 and 4, someone likely ends up dead.

The ONLY scenario where the situation is not worse with guns is if the homeowner is the only one who is armed (unlikely in an armed society); AND he successfully uses the threat of his gun to make the 'toughs' back off, and they don't choose to return (unlikely with people who are demonstrably prepared to act with disproportionate violence). All other scenarios end with someone dying.

I understand that you have no empathy for those you can paint as 'bad guys', but it is notable that a) In many scenarios, the dead guy is the 'good' guy'; b) knocking over some bins is not, and should not be, a capital offence; and c) 'Toughs' and 'Bad guys' are real people, who have families who love them - everyone occasionally behaves like an asshole, sometimes with excuse, sometimes not, and a society in which a moments unthinking insult to another is fatal is not one that it is pleasant to live in.
 

Eric H

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
113
Location
UK
Basic Beliefs
CAtholic
joedad;
Maybe if you're 6' 7" and weigh 320 pounds go for it. But if you don't have a chance of scaring the shit out of someone or besting them in a brawl the smart thing to do is let it go.

The most successful interventions I have witnessed with violence, is when there are a couple of seventy year old grannies, they don't go out to win, they go for a peaceful outcome.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,687
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
In the US, a more likely result is that somebody would end up dead, rather than just injured.

No, in the US the more likely result would be nothing would have happened--they wouldn't have attacked in the first place.

A person getting his head stomped is a bad outcome. I fail to see how a person getting shot is an improvement.

I would prefer to see a bad guy shot than a good guy get his head stomped.

Guns lead to escalation. If the homeowner had a gun - or could be reasonably expected to have a gun - then the 'toughs' would feel the need to be armed too; and both parties would be aware that being the first to initiate violence was the only viable course of action - having a gun doesn't protect you from being shot, unless you use yours before he uses his.

In practice the toughs don't attack in situations like this in the US.

I understand that you have no empathy for those you can paint as 'bad guys', but it is notable that a) In many scenarios, the dead guy is the 'good' guy'; b) knocking over some bins is not, and should not be, a capital offence; and c) 'Toughs' and 'Bad guys' are real people, who have families who love them - everyone occasionally behaves like an asshole, sometimes with excuse, sometimes not, and a society in which a moments unthinking insult to another is fatal is not one that it is pleasant to live in.

The offense isn't knocking over bins, the offense is stomping the good guy.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,725
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
No, in the US the more likely result would be nothing would have happened--they wouldn't have attacked in the first place.

A person getting his head stomped is a bad outcome. I fail to see how a person getting shot is an improvement.

I would prefer to see a bad guy shot than a good guy get his head stomped.

Guns lead to escalation. If the homeowner had a gun - or could be reasonably expected to have a gun - then the 'toughs' would feel the need to be armed too; and both parties would be aware that being the first to initiate violence was the only viable course of action - having a gun doesn't protect you from being shot, unless you use yours before he uses his.

In practice the toughs don't attack in situations like this in the US.

I understand that you have no empathy for those you can paint as 'bad guys', but it is notable that a) In many scenarios, the dead guy is the 'good' guy'; b) knocking over some bins is not, and should not be, a capital offence; and c) 'Toughs' and 'Bad guys' are real people, who have families who love them - everyone occasionally behaves like an asshole, sometimes with excuse, sometimes not, and a society in which a moments unthinking insult to another is fatal is not one that it is pleasant to live in.

The offense isn't knocking over bins, the offense is stomping the good guy.

So you favour the death penalty for 'Knocking over bins with intent to cause grevous bodily harm'?

Your casual attitude towards killing, and willingness to dismiss it as trivial on the basis of flimsy rationalisations, disgusts me.

There are no 'bad guys'. People ALL have the potential to be good in one circumstance and bad in another. Calvinism is stupid beyond belief, and basing your personal morality on it leads to insane outcomes like "I would rather see someone shot dead, than someone else kicked in the head", which is what your attitude actually boils down to.

Rather than address my post, you make a few glib rationalisations that allow you to ignore it. Well ignoring it won't make it untrue, no matter how much you want to cling to your crazy 'black and white' worldview. Reality is not like the Lone Ranger. The idea that 'Goodies' and 'Baddies' are distinct classes of human was debunked over a century ago, and today is only believed by infants, Calvinists, and idiots (And in case you were wondering, there is considerable overlap between these three non-exclusive groups).
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,720
Location
Local group: Solar system: Earth: NA: US: contiguo
Basic Beliefs
optimist
Unless we're talking some place where there are no cell towers the OP scenario is totally bogus. If someone sees others tipping bins (fond boyhood memories reference) one will whip out one's phone, snap off some pics and message them to 911. Anything else is evidence the witness knows the ones having sport and is pissed at them and has more than a few drinks.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,330
Yea if you see someone who looks like they have the IQ of a gorilla just stay the fuck away.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,687
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
No, in the US the more likely result would be nothing would have happened--they wouldn't have attacked in the first place.

A person getting his head stomped is a bad outcome. I fail to see how a person getting shot is an improvement.

I would prefer to see a bad guy shot than a good guy get his head stomped.

Guns lead to escalation. If the homeowner had a gun - or could be reasonably expected to have a gun - then the 'toughs' would feel the need to be armed too; and both parties would be aware that being the first to initiate violence was the only viable course of action - having a gun doesn't protect you from being shot, unless you use yours before he uses his.

In practice the toughs don't attack in situations like this in the US.

I understand that you have no empathy for those you can paint as 'bad guys', but it is notable that a) In many scenarios, the dead guy is the 'good' guy'; b) knocking over some bins is not, and should not be, a capital offence; and c) 'Toughs' and 'Bad guys' are real people, who have families who love them - everyone occasionally behaves like an asshole, sometimes with excuse, sometimes not, and a society in which a moments unthinking insult to another is fatal is not one that it is pleasant to live in.

The offense isn't knocking over bins, the offense is stomping the good guy.

So you favour the death penalty for 'Knocking over bins with intent to cause grevous bodily harm'?

You're focusing on the wrong thing. The knocking over bins was the trigger, not the wrongdoing.

There are no 'bad guys'. People ALL have the potential to be good in one circumstance and bad in another. Calvinism is stupid beyond belief, and basing your personal morality on it leads to insane outcomes like "I would rather see someone shot dead, than someone else kicked in the head", which is what your attitude actually boils down to.

Stomping someone's head because they told you to behave is not reasonable behavior. I have no problem with calling such a person a bad guy. I don't *WANT* to see them hurt but neither am I going to get too upset about it--they were trying to inflict serious injury.

Rather than address my post, you make a few glib rationalisations that allow you to ignore it. Well ignoring it won't make it untrue, no matter how much you want to cling to your crazy 'black and white' worldview. Reality is not like the Lone Ranger. The idea that 'Goodies' and 'Baddies' are distinct classes of human was debunked over a century ago, and today is only believed by infants, Calvinists, and idiots (And in case you were wondering, there is considerable overlap between these three non-exclusive groups).

There is such a thing as bad behavior.

- - - Updated - - -

Unless we're talking some place where there are no cell towers the OP scenario is totally bogus. If someone sees others tipping bins (fond boyhood memories reference) one will whip out one's phone, snap off some pics and message them to 911. Anything else is evidence the witness knows the ones having sport and is pissed at them and has more than a few drinks.

A cell phone pic won't identify them. I would be surprised if the cops even bothered to respond.
 

arkirk

Veteran Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
3,403
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Basic Beliefs
atheist/agnostic
Blah, blah, blah. So this guy told off some punks who were committing vandalism? So what?
so, if it's understood that if you come across a wild dog that has its hackles up and is growling at you, it's a really bad idea to start shouting at it because it may attack you, why is it not understood that the human equivalent of raised hackles and growling means it's a really bad idea to start shouting at them?

The head stomping vandal freaks are punks who will not be shamed if they feel they have the upper hand. Vandalizing trash cans may or not mean you will get your head stomped if you intervene. You can't just ignore this type of activity. If our communities were truly closely knit, there would be less of this stuff. The best you can do is make friends with your neighbors and perhaps (guns or no guns) you will stand a better chance of convincing them you and your neighbors have the upper hand. This story points toward a darker picture of the vandals than simple vandalism. It would depend on the median income of the neighborhood if the police would rush in. Another solution get rich enough to hire a security force...ah, but those folks already get the quick police response time.
 

fast

Contributor
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
5,293
Location
South Carolina
Basic Beliefs
Christian
The head stomping vandal freaks are punks who will not be shamed if they feel they have the upper hand.
Why exactly is it again we are told we should show these prisoners-to-be respect? Not necessarily these particular people but those like them. So, there they are, thugs, sitting in prison, looking at the camera telling the world how they should be treated with respect. Don't get me wrong, I've never bought into the simple-minded notion that respect should be earned. Of course, that's not to say respect shouldn't be earned. The problem isn't with the saying but the believed suggestion we shouldn't show respect to those that haven't earned it. Even prison guards know that we should be respectful (to a degree) just for being human beings, despite no earned respect otherwise. I would actually be a little bit tolerant of those so inclined to not show respect to those who always seem to think they deserve it. Never mind about how safer or easier it would be if inmates were given at least minimal levels of respect. Never mind there should be a minimal level of respect shown for just being human beings. How about a little bit of overt disrespect to those who would unjustly harm others, especially those in serious need of an attitude adjustment.

It's one thing (a bad thing) to be in the frame of mind that would lead to such harshness, but it's another thing (an even worse thing) to additionally be in the frame of mind to think we should be sympathetic to their demands for respect.
 

Unbeatable

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
691
Location
PA
Basic Beliefs
moral and existential nihilism, igtheism, dysteleology, pragmatic methodological naturalism
I don't understand what brought about this tangent about "respect". Nobody in this thread has been speaking about respect, nor has the article in the OP. I've never been told that I should show violent thugs "respect", at least not in the sense that you're using the term. OTOH I am familiar with a different usage of "respect", which would perhaps be relevant to the OP's point. It is used in the context of wild animals-- to "respect" a wild animal would mean to stay out of its way, because it is dangerous when provoked and cannot be reasoned with.
 

Eric H

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
113
Location
UK
Basic Beliefs
CAtholic
arkirk;

If our communities were truly closely knit, there would be less of this stuff.

I agree, these youngsters would grow up in a friendly community, and may well show more respect for their neighbours. Now we have fragmented families, who may not care about each other, this makes for fragmented communities who show little signs of caring.

I would like to see the town I live in, become kinder and more caring, for my family, friends and neighbours, this is very much the aims of the street pastor teams in our town. We wonder the streets until 3 am; it does mean taking a risk because we try and search for the good in all people, who may not be at their best on drugs and drinks.

Recently I was with another lady pastor, we are both in our sixties, we came across a dozen angry lads about 2 am, it escalated into a fight between two lads. The lady I was with got hold of one guys shirt and tried to pull him off the smaller lad, she was not having much luck being about five foot tall herself. A couple of minutes later the police came, and the guys all disappeared, we followed half a dozen of them round the corner and stopped with them for some time, they wanted to continue the fight. Then the big guy looked down at us and said, go away, you are intimidating us!

I said we would leave, but I was also phoning the police as I was not totally convinced they would resolve this peacefully, I did not want to see either of them hurt. We left and phoned the CCTV, who kept an eye on them, later the CCTV told us these lads chatted shook hands and left.

I guess our intimidation had led them to overcome their anger, there were no winners or losers.
 

arkirk

Veteran Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
3,403
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Basic Beliefs
atheist/agnostic
The head stomping vandal freaks are punks who will not be shamed if they feel they have the upper hand.
Why exactly is it again we are told we should show these prisoners-to-be respect? Not necessarily these particular people but those like them. So, there they are, thugs, sitting in prison, looking at the camera telling the world how they should be treated with respect. Don't get me wrong, I've never bought into the simple-minded notion that respect should be earned. Of course, that's not to say respect shouldn't be earned. The problem isn't with the saying but the believed suggestion we shouldn't show respect to those that haven't earned it. Even prison guards know that we should be respectful (to a degree) just for being human beings, despite no earned respect otherwise. I would actually be a little bit tolerant of those so inclined to not show respect to those who always seem to think they deserve it. Never mind about how safer or easier it would be if inmates were given at least minimal levels of respect. Never mind there should be a minimal level of respect shown for just being human beings. How about a little bit of overt disrespect to those who would unjustly harm others, especially those in serious need of an attitude adjustment.

It's one thing (a bad thing) to be in the frame of mind that would lead to such harshness, but it's another thing (an even worse thing) to additionally be in the frame of mind to think we should be sympathetic to their demands for respect.

Respect is an aspect of knowledge and not of intimidation. If you do not respect the fact that a rattlesnake has teeth he can sink into you, you go ahead and play with it. I do feel that it is important to recognize threats to us all and isolate them. It is important with these thugs that THEY LEARN RESPECT...or be segregated from society...like maybe jail. But while they are isolated, it is only right to demonstrate that you do not treat others as they have done.

Every once in awhile, just plain civilians deal with these people and overpower thugs. They sometimes take some real beatings in the process. If we respected each other's human rights more, there would be more people helping when these situations arise. I in no way condone being cowed by bullies or vandals. Obviously if you are alone, you will not be taking on eight guys armed with tire irons. Discretion is the better part of valor. Either the thugs get the feeling of being isolated for their bad behavior or the surrounding society is nothing but a lot of sitting ducks for intimidation, loss and abuse.;)
 

fast

Contributor
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
5,293
Location
South Carolina
Basic Beliefs
Christian
The guy saw three young men upturning bins, told them off, and in response they nearly killed him, attacked his property, and have terrorised him and his family.
Told them huh. I don't particularly have a problem with telling them off, but he has a family he is supposed to look after, and although I'm not against taking chances, I do believe that's not the most tactful way to approach hoodlums, especially if the limits of his arsenal is his mouth.

He was only trying to do the right thing,
I learned years ago the difference between doing the right thing and doing things right. The problem is in how he did it. That's not to say calling the police would have been much more than a notch better. Heck, a charismatic berating of their actions could have led to a better outcome than would have come from police interaction--as the consequences of subsequent attacks wouldn't be unexpected behavior for these types of punks.

and certainly did not deserve to be assaulted, but he also demonstrated a severe failure to think before acting. Things could have much worse:
Yes, but why (why!) must we attribute this to intervening in crime? It's chancy, yes, but notice the bolding above. For instance, sure, you can say he intervened and see what happened, but at the same token, you could have said he disrespected the thugs and see what happened. See, you're right, the OP didn't mention it, nor did anyone else, but that's not my fault.
 

Eric H

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
113
Location
UK
Basic Beliefs
CAtholic
bigfield;

Apart from the sheer pointlessness of the violence, the case illustrates a point: intervening in crime can carry a high risk of harm to oneself.

There is also the possibility that some good might come from the intervention. I can only say that as part of our Street Pastor team, we have intervened on numerous times in angry and violent situations. On every occasion if they had turned against us, we would have lost. In the six and a half years, I have never walked away from an incident, we have always tried to do something.

I don't know why, but every intervention has resulted in a calming of the situation, I truthfully believe some good happened each time, not to say that one day we could get beaten up. None of us do self defence, and most of us could not run if we had to.

I think the best combination is at least one man and one woman, often just being in the middle helps, we do not have to do much. An added bonus is when the community recognizes a bunch of pensioners wondering the streets at night, it gives them some confidence that things might not be as bad as they think.
 

arkirk

Veteran Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
3,403
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Basic Beliefs
atheist/agnostic
bigfield;

Apart from the sheer pointlessness of the violence, the case illustrates a point: intervening in crime can carry a high risk of harm to oneself.

There is also the possibility that some good might come from the intervention. I can only say that as part of our Street Pastor team, we have intervened on numerous times in angry and violent situations. On every occasion if they had turned against us, we would have lost. In the six and a half years, I have never walked away from an incident, we have always tried to do something.

I don't know why, but every intervention has resulted in a calming of the situation, I truthfully believe some good happened each time, not to say that one day we could get beaten up. None of us do self defence, and most of us could not run if we had to.

I think the best combination is at least one man and one woman, often just being in the middle helps, we do not have to do much. An added bonus is when the community recognizes a bunch of pensioners wondering the streets at night, it gives them some confidence that things might not be as bad as they think.

Your story is interesting, Eric. There is a lot to be said for people who intervene in crime situations, especially if it turns down the heat of aggression. One would have to almost not have the standard cop mentality in order to be a good cop. There are a few scattered here and there who do not automatically reach for authority and threat as their first tool in conflict. Lately we have seen a lot of unnecessary killing of black people by white cops,

If you can do something without resorting to force yet foreclose the criminal action, it is far better than tongue lashings and commands and aggression against people who sometimes are innocent. It is the variety of people a cop might meet or you might meet that is the problem and our prejudices about certain people color our suspicions and our animosity. So when this loud mouth steps up to some punks that outnumber him and showers them with insults, they may be wrong in their vandalism, but they still resent it and their vandalism becomes pounding on him. I was not even slightly amazed by the story.
 

Eric H

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
113
Location
UK
Basic Beliefs
CAtholic
arkirk;
One would have to almost not have the standard cop mentality in order to be a good cop.

I think the police have an incredibly hard job, the youngsters seem to give them so much abuse, until the police have no other option, other than to arrest them. Often drink or drugs cloud the judgement of people, I am sure they would not behave the same when sober.

There is a lot to be said for people who intervene in crime situations, especially if it turns down the heat of aggression

We have a comprehensive training schedule, before we are allowed out, we work closely with the police, they brief us before going out, we have a direct phone link with them, but it was agreed that we would not have to be informants, unless it was something serious.

It is beyond my understanding, but most of the angry and violent situations we have been involved in, have ended up with hugs and handshakes, the ladies in our team also get kisses too.

I was out with one lady in her sixties, she struggles to walk for more than ten minutes, we came across a car of youngsters parked in the middle of the road around midnight. A number of their mates were also fooling around in the road by them, it looked as if they were waiting for a car to come by, then they would cause some mischief.

The lady I was with ignored all the lads, she went up to the driver and asked him if he could park his car by the kerb, he started the car up and parked it safely out the way. She then asked the lads in the road to move onto the pavement, at this point two big lads came right up to us, all the other lads were around us, and it felt threatening at the time. She looked up to the big lad and said, I am not afraid.

The next thing was, this big lad looked at her and said, do you want to come to our party, total change in mood, so we stopped with them a while, and they seemed an ok bunch of lads, lots of handshakes and hugs.

I often say, I don't know what we do, other than be there, I guess we confront situations, rather than confront people.

I would love to see more people get involved, but there is a certain amount of fear, they often say, do we have stab proof vests, are we taught self defence, and the answer is no.
 

dx713

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
808
Location
Provence, France
Basic Beliefs
Atheist, Epicurean, Compatibilist
I think the police have an incredibly hard job, the youngsters seem to give them so much abuse, until the police have no other option, other than to arrest them. Often drink or drugs cloud the judgement of people, I am sure they would not behave the same when sober.

There is a lot to be said for people who intervene in crime situations, especially if it turns down the heat of aggression

We have a comprehensive training schedule, before we are allowed out, we work closely with the police, they brief us before going out, we have a direct phone link with them, but it was agreed that we would not have to be informants, unless it was something serious.

It is beyond my understanding, but most of the angry and violent situations we have been involved in, have ended up with hugs and handshakes, the ladies in our team also get kisses too.

I was out with one lady in her sixties, she struggles to walk for more than ten minutes, we came across a car of youngsters parked in the middle of the road around midnight. A number of their mates were also fooling around in the road by them, it looked as if they were waiting for a car to come by, then they would cause some mischief.

The lady I was with ignored all the lads, she went up to the driver and asked him if he could park his car by the kerb, he started the car up and parked it safely out the way. She then asked the lads in the road to move onto the pavement, at this point two big lads came right up to us, all the other lads were around us, and it felt threatening at the time. She looked up to the big lad and said, I am not afraid.

The next thing was, this big lad looked at her and said, do you want to come to our party, total change in mood, so we stopped with them a while, and they seemed an ok bunch of lads, lots of handshakes and hugs.

I often say, I don't know what we do, other than be there, I guess we confront situations, rather than confront people.

I would love to see more people get involved, but there is a certain amount of fear, they often say, do we have stab proof vests, are we taught self defence, and the answer is no.
I think the moral of your stories is that if you are non-threatening, non-frustrating, and yet non-target, you can be much safer than one would assume.
You don't make them feel "bad guys" by showing fear, but at the same time you don't make them want to avenge or release frustration by insulting or pushing them, and there's nothing for them to earn by attacking you: I suppose you don't take visible luxury items to such patrols, and there's no fame to be gained by having punched an old woman.
The behaviour part can be learned, but some parts are out of reach for us. If I need my laptop elsewhere the next day, I can't leave work without my laptop in its bag.
If, like a friend of mine, you're a big muscular rugbyman, you can be the nicest non-confrontational man on earth out of the pitch, you're still going to have young and drunk punks wanting to prove they're badass by starting fights with you. If you're an attractive or young woman, refusing sexual advances of a boy or looking hotter than a girl that has just been dumped might be enough for you to create frustration... etc.
 

Eric H

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
113
Location
UK
Basic Beliefs
CAtholic
dx713;
I think the moral of your stories is that if you are non-threatening, non-frustrating, and yet non-target, you can be much safer than one would assume.
You don't make them feel "bad guys" by showing fear, but at the same time you don't make them want to avenge or release frustration by insulting or pushing them, and there's nothing for them to earn by attacking you: I suppose you don't take visible luxury items to such patrols, and there's no fame to be gained by having punched an old woman.
The behaviour part can be learned, but some parts are out of reach for us. If I need my laptop elsewhere the next day, I can't leave work without my laptop in its bag.
If, like a friend of mine, you're a big muscular rugbyman, you can be the nicest non-confrontational man on earth out of the pitch, you're still going to have young and drunk punks wanting to prove they're badass by starting fights with you. If you're an attractive or young woman, refusing sexual advances of a boy or looking hotter than a girl that has just been dumped might be enough for you to create frustration... etc

I think you have summed up the issues well, we are going out for a couple of hours tonight when the England football game finishes, hopefully they will be good natured, win or loose.
 

Eric H

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
113
Location
UK
Basic Beliefs
CAtholic
dx713;
If, like a friend of mine, you're a big muscular rugbyman, you can be the nicest non-confrontational man on earth out of the pitch, you're still going to have young and drunk punks wanting to prove they're badass by starting fights with you.

Something like this happened to us, it was around midnight, as we walked passed an alleyway, a couple od lads came towards us in an aggressive way, telling us to walk on. I said to my big mate that we should walk away, but he said, have you seen those other lads climbing over the garden fence.

When he pointed this out, I knew we had to stay and take whatever was coming, sure enough they pushed us around but we did not offer any kind of defence, after a few minutes they walked away. There was no pain involved, other than being pushed around.

These lads were known to others in our team as we heard names mentioned, it turned out one of the lads never got on with his dad, then his dad became ill and they started to make up, sadly his dad died and he became one angry lad. Often people who are angry have a reason to be angry, they also need help to deal with this anger.
 
Top Bottom