|Mugger caught admiring what he’d stolen|
A few years ago I was wandering home at just before Midnight when a rather concerned lad in his early 20s asked if I’d seen two hoodies pass me. He was with two other lads who were looking nervously and angrily up and down Orford Road in Walthamstow. I explained I hadn’t and asked what was up. I then had described to me how the lad had just been mugged.
He had apparently passed the hoodies as they were sitting on the bench near the Ancient House and noted that they hid their faces from him, but had also noted some facts about what they were wearing. He passed the Nag’s Head realising that they were now following him. They caught up with him and kicked him to the ground and beat him around the head in order to take his bag, and ran off. The victim was only a few metres from his home, so was able to run in to get his flat mates in order to give chase. However, they came out and couldn’t work out which way the hoodies had gone. As they were looking up and down, I reached them.
Straight away I asked if the police had been called. The victim said he didn’t have his phone. It had been taken during a previous mugging only three weeks ago in more or less the same place and he’d not got round to replacing it. In fact, tonight’s muggers had only managed to run off with a near empty bag since he had nothing left of value to be stolen this time.
I offered him my phone to call the police and he thought for a moment then said it was pointless as last time they’d not been interested and told him to just go to a police station to report it the next morning. I said he really should report it, but he said they wouldn’t be interested “You know what they are like” and he was ok. He did have quite a bruise developing on his face and a lump on his head so I said “What about an ambulance?” He declined again saying he’d just go indoors, clean up and see how he felt rather than spend hours surrounded by violent drunks at the Whipps Cross A and E if it was just superficial.
His flatmates helped him home and I continued on my journey.
It concerned me that he’d not called the police. More and more victims of crime are not bothering because they know nothing happens. So, as I walked along I decided to call the local police number and explain what I’d just witnessed. I assumed that letting them know might add to some ‘intelligence’ and help them know what was going on on their patch.
From the moment I started speaking to the officer who answered I got negativity. There was no victim available for them to interview so he “couldn’t do anything”. Would they be interested in noting the details to add to intelligence or to show a possible pattern? Nope. He wasn’t going to take down any of the descriptions or react in any way, and certainly he wasn’t going to send anybody to the area to cruise around looking for a pair of suspicious looking hoodies. He didn’t want my name or anything. He just wanted me off the phone. I obliged him but felt extremely frustrated with the whole situation.
So, what the heck are we to do? On the one hand you’ve got victims knowing it’s pointless trying to inform the police of anything. On the other hand you’ve got the police dis-interested in information about what’s actually going on.
This is why the statistics can’t be believed when figures are trotted out to tell us how safe we are. The whole system is breaking down. Victims don’t trust the police, and the muggers know they’ll never get caught.