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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The solution

When on a quiet night on a quiet door I often find myself consulting my colleagues about various problems. Some personal, some political and most often social problems.
I believe I have found the solution to criminality.
How to stop criminal behaviour impacting upon the non-criminal.
I know rational members of the bar attempt to get it right, judging each case on its merits and obeying the sentencing guidelines.
The basic problem is the vast majority of crimes being committed by a small criminal minority who see crime and offending as a way of life. The law tries to be blind. Each cheap suited defendant could be up for the sole excursion beyond legality in their life or the umpteenth time they've been caught amongst the innumerable times they've acted criminally. When they've pushed a drunk over or nicked a few cheap clothes its only a minor offence. The maximum sentence will be puny, the reductions for guilty pleas, however late in the days play, takes that down further. The serve a third, probation a third for the inevitable not notably bad behaviour means they're back out bright and early.
For most folks who get a criminal record, it's a one off or part of a short period of poor behaviour, reality kicks in, rationality kicks in and reasoning about future prospects kick in. The system works, the sanction proves effective.
For the minority who don't kick in, the offending continues. They collect hundreds/thousands of offences. They are performing the vast majority of crimes committed. The public is suffering this directly and indirectly in too many ways to list. Insurance, retail prices, taxation, and deprivation of property are to name but a few.

The solution.

Cumulative sentencing. Clump offences into broad categories. Clock up an offence in any category. Serve all previous offences' sentences in that category after the latest one given by the courts.
Those who persist in drunken low level assaults, those who shoplift for a living, those commit fraud repeatedly, will in their own category get snowballed sentences.
Those who learn and quit, learn and quit. Those who don't could be facing longer and longer times away from the public unable to further offend.
It would also incentivise the police to pursue minor offences if they felt the offender would be away for a while instead of back out by lunch.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Give Up

Thinking back about stuff as I near a decade of being paid to watch drunken muppets I realise how much stuff I've given up because of it.
There are a few ladies who didn't appreciate me always being sober and heading out the door at 9.30 every night. There are a few more who didn't appreciate me never having a weekend off so we could go and do something fun on a weekend. I've not had a good holiday in a very long time. I've been rude to more postmen than I really thought would cover one round.
I've gotten to know who works night shift at my 24hour tesco's from popping by at 4am to get my breakfast far too often. When I'm out on my rare nights off I still drift to the part of the room where I get the best view and tend to stand crossed arms tutting at the drunken young ones and keeping an eye on the tension building in that domestic or the rowdy buggers at the bar.
I miss watching a tv film that doesn't come from the world cinema selection with subtitles and a bemusing and harrowing plot.
I've missed a fair bit of stuff but every road taken excludes others. I've seen and done things others will never do. I've learnt more about myself and others than many will ever know or want to.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


After the lovely romantic event of valentines night I am once again amazed by the number of people who feel the need to share their domestic stresses in public. Like a certain type of person who feels the need to fight with their children in supermarkets there seem to be plenty who argue their personal issues in pubs and clubs and on the streets.
With the increasing honesty and emotional openness that comes with drink and the application of gentle stresses of decision making and social interactions that come from nights out and its time to stand back and watch the fireworks. Well it's seldom physical fireworks but the screaming and threatening do provide quite a bit of street theatre. It keeps from getting to bored as the large gaggles of drunken boys and girls tend to have a night off on valentines. I didn't have the night off but spent most of it telling rowing couples to quieten down or take it outside. They generally did and I didn't have to put on my marriage counsellor hat once. I did direct quite a few stroppy singletons to the station and the taxi ranks.
Got back to a poorly missus whose idea of romance is a warm body and box of soft tissues. Suits me just fine.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

It's been cold and icy and a little bit snowy 'round these parts of late. I know I've been standing out in it a fair bit. I've got a hat, big coat and heavy warm boots. I'm not trying to totter past in high heels after a few pints wearing a belt and best wishes to keep the cold out.
It's such fun to watch punters shivering and shuffling in with bright red frozen legs. Even more fun to watch them shuffle out, a little less steady on their feet, hitting the cold air and the now even harder iced streets. Then they slip, stumble and slide their way kebabward, then slip slide and stumble their way back taxiward all the while getting colder and in just about every case more bedraggled and bruised.
Ho hum, salt does really take the polish of my nice warm boots.