|Crime in Medway, Police often too late to help|
It started in a busy lunchtime MacDonald's in Gillingham when her friend accidentally knocked a tray sending an empty happy meal box into the lap of a child at another table.
The mother of the child confronted my wife's friend angrily and she apologised for the understandable accident.
My wife then made a comment about how she would prefer it if the woman could refrain from swearing in front of our daughter. This escalated and the woman lunged forward and slapped her twice around the head, knocking her glasses of and was pulled off her by my wife's friend.
The staff were excellent and hit the panic alarm and the woman fled leaving my wife and daughter fairly shaken. In fact when I got home one of the first things little Sophie said to me was;
The naughty woman hit my Mummy. I was scared I was.
Not what any child should ever say.
Although the Police have taken a statement and have CCTV of the woman fleeing (the camera doesn't cover that part of the seating area) I do think nothing will happen about it.
At the end of the day the Police have more important things to worry about. Further to that they need to "Know" who the woman is and with the lack of footage of the incident it wouldn't take much for a good lawyer to say "Prove she threw the first punch or that it was indeed my client."
Ultimately what will happen?
More and more crime is occurring in Medway, or seems too be. Every time I open the Medway Messenger someone has been stabbed, robbed, run over or worse and those are just the crimes that are reported! There has been a spate of car vandalism in Franklin Road that has left already strapped for cash residents fuming. The police have been unable to help as the damage is often not discovered until the morning.
So what are the solutions?
Well, a lot of people put a lot of stock in CCTV but as an operator I can tell you there are many drawbacks. The Camera has to be facing the right way and you have to get a good visual of the person you want as well as lots of other rules. If strict, and I mean strict, procedure is not adhered to then a good barrister will rip the case apart.
Gone are the days when every beat cop knew his area inside and out and every family well and was known to them. The chances of them happening on the crime and at least recognising a fleeing criminal was a lot higher. A Policeman's word was good enough.
So what can be done?
I'm afraid that is a question for the Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable. Residents are starting to accept crime as part of the day-to-day life and that should it happen what can you do to stop it?
Some are already taking it into their own hands...