Monday 13 August 2018

Violent crime in Southend – something has to change

A police meeting, called to address the terrible events that occurred in the Farringdon Service Road in May, was in many ways shambolic, and suffered from being badly run. But there were high points, and these all featured residents. The residents who spoke were clear and eloquent, and not a little angry and frustrated.

Are residents being properly listened to? When they are being shouted down then the answer is “no”. At times it can appear that all residents receive is platitudes, or being effectively told that they are wrong. This is a long way from the reassurance that I believe is needed.

We cannot have business as usual, for whatever we may wish to think, the reality is that violent crime is on the increase. However, what would not be helpful at the moment is for action without thought.

“Oh no, not another one”. An instinctive reaction born partially out of the growing realisation that these sorts of incidents are happening frequently and regularly. Outrage will fall victim to nonchalance if we are not careful.

Cuts: always rolled out as an excuse for all sorts of things. Yet, those cuts are significantly affecting the world we all inhabit. There are fewer police; this impacts the visibility of law enforcement. This gives rise to the impression that crime often goes unpunished.

We do not have a lawless borough. What we do have is an increasingly violent one. Whatever reassurances we, the residents, receive is little comfort after our families and friends have been threatened and robbed at knifepoint. Something has to change.

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St Luke's Voice Winter 2018/19 edition