My view on ramming kids off mopeds and scooters
Firstly why are the inner cities rife with gangs, criminality and violence?
Well when we were young kids were allowed to play out, yes they/we were not always best behaved but that was about developing into adults. If there were more than three of us we were still kids playing out not a ‘street gang’. I am sure there was always that one neighbour that saw us as disruptive but most folk saw us as part of the community, the way life should be, the future.
Now I would love to write this with no politics, but sadly cannot. Things changed massively in Britain due to Thatcherism. Yes there were always ghettos, areas separated due to race, culture and class. Thatcher however brought new levels of hardship to these areas, her policies destroyed not just extended families but communities and society itself. Greed and materialism became the measures of self worth. Britain truly began the road towards a society divided by the haves and have-nots. At the same time technology sprung forward so pressure was placed upon young folk and soon all of us through labelled advertising. Kids being told by corporations that they did not matter unless they wore a certain brand.
Instead of the cool wearing just a black or white T-shirt bought for a few pence on the market or in the Army Navy they were paying £50 for the same shirt with a tick on it.
Now poorer families couldn’t make do and mend, couldn’t hand down clothes, now they had to find huge amounts of money to ensure Billy had the right trainers on.
Thatcherism was capitalism gone mad, and the advent of the internet and gadget world meant advertisers with no moral compass could sell lifestyles to those that already were barely affording to live.
This along with Thatchers use of the police (and likely Army at Orgreave) against anyone standing up against her caused huge rifts that likely will never heal. I was at Warrington when the police threw the braziers into the pickets and charged us. That will never leave me. Any respect I or many others held for the police died then. I respected the system of law but never again those wearing the uniform. Since I have worked for many years closely with the police. Met and knew some damn good officers. But far more not so good and several bloody wicked.
Since Thatcher we have not had a true socialist government in the UK. New Labour were capitalist wearing red. Some of the politicians within New labour tried to stand by their socialist beliefs, some managed this. Others were swallowed into the channeled greed that is Capitalism.
Stripping communities of resources, failing the youth and children leads to unrest. The adults is these communities are already disillusioned, lost their futures. They awake in concrete grey and go to sleep within the same grey. Every day is one. Life has no expectations nor chance of achievement and growth. Yet still the pressure to conform. To wear the right track suit, even underwear. £40 for a pair of boxer shorts.
Add this to all the other costs of just living, such as car insurance of £5,000 for a little hatchback, benefits sanctioned, schools excluding kids rather than working with them, and the cost of losing their hopes and aspirations, their right to a future because people they will never meet steal off them every day of their lives, put them in the gutter without thought, step on them then push them further down into the mire that has become their existence through no more crime than being born into a specific area of ‘Great Britain’.
These kids turn on TV and the only folk they see succeeding are either those born into money or criminals. Which path do we expect them to take?
So no chance of a childhood, no chance of play, a life often of abuse not because of evil parents but parents not coping themselves, no real community outside of their Fagin gangs, only way to survive to become feral and tougher, more violent than anyone else, and we blame them? We are surprised they turn to crime and aggression? They are human and humans are only animals. Any animal will turn if mistreated
Now this does not seek to excuse them. Not to validate their behaviour, for we all have morality and a conscience. Well most of us. We know whats right and wrong, even if the borders become blurred. Yes their actions are desperate and with universal credit, sanctions and the like probably at times are a case of eating or starving, but if society worked there would be safety nets there. Sadly there are now all too few.
So the issue of ramming them off scooters.
Well all I can say is WOW, wow that we even can start to justify this. Wow that the police we employ would undertake it, and wow that we allow people with such low opinion of life to continue being police officers.
Now let’s be clear, if someone is pointing a gun at someone, holding a knife to them or yes aiming a moped at people with the intent of causing harm they have upped the stakes. At that point maximum and even lethal force becomes an option to prevent loss of other life. I get that and agree. Someone pulls a weapon on me and I will use appropriate force to prevent them succeeding in harming me or others.
But…… If someone is using a moped to escape or even just riding on the street without causing an immediate danger to others then there is no excuse to ram them off. I ride a motorbike, as stated have seen the true face of do many police officers, you give them permission to ram any kind of bike you will open the gates to them using it as a ‘normal tactic’.
There is no safe way to knock someone off a bike. The chances are they or some one else will be seriously injured at best but possibly killed. We do not have capital punishment in the UK but by this action we would be creating a Judge Dredd system whereby individual police officers will chose to knock someone off and likely kill them
Now these kids (for they are kids, often 13 and 14) need catching, need sentencing but also need supporting to change their lot. Give communities including policing the resources to investigate crime, track down criminals, the folk within the communities hope and a reason to prevent the criminal behaviour from within.
Going back to my own experience of the police, my informed view of many years of interaction, just how long do you think it will be until they view all bike riders as potential criminals and begin knocking us off because we wear a patch or the type of bike we ride. Here in Derbyshire the Police victimise bikers every year, stopping without cause and setting up road blocks where they just pull bikers.
I do not want to be a target for some Mad Max Cop.
So no not acceptable, yes target the street gangs, but with resources not acts of wanton violence. Eye for an eye is not how our society functions, devalue one life and you devalue us all. And that is too dangerous a path.