Thursday, June 08, 2006

Safe for Students - Maybe Not

Problems with the Web server today, means this story is up late.

All over the BBC news this evening, a seventeen year old German student seriously assaulted in Dane Park by our local yobs. Why, because he was German and its World Cup Week.

The poor boy reportedly spent a night in Margate hospital after being hit over the head with an iron bar and his English language teacher, interviewed on the news, says this kind of xenophobic attack is becoming increasingly common, with dozens of incidents of a similar nature over the last year that I have also catalogued on this weblog.

The police deny that they are not doing enough to prevent this kind of incident but let’s accept that it’s getting worse, doubling last year, if I remember correctly from the previous year. We have a problem and it’s going to cost our local economy money as sensible parents of foreign students choose to send their children to be educated somewhere safer. Would you send your child to study English in Margate? Possibly not and a great many of our hooded local teenagers have a standard of English which is below that of our foreign visitors anyway!

Incidentally, I note that the youth who was responsible for the violent assault on a man in Minnis Bay earlier in the year, and which left the victim in a critical condition – I’m sure you remember the story – has “walked.” Reportedly, he had “issues”, coming from a violent and abusive family background but he’s very sorry and “filled with remorse” over the incident. The fact that he and his gang were wandering Birchington, looking for another gang to fight with that evening did not appear to carry much weight with the court. The verdict: “You’re a very naughty boy and I hope you’ve learned your lesson. Don’t do it again”

Is it time that the police, the courts and our local authority woke up to the undeniable fact that we have in our midst, a serious problem of racism and street violence with a worryingly large minority of our young people in Thanet; creating an atmosphere which leads people to fear the potential for random and unprovoked assaults across the island.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

No need to worry now that TDC are responsible for troublesome behaviour. I'm sure they will have the answer. The only problem is that they will decline to answer any questions and no-one will know what they plan to do. Hang on a moment, where have I heard that before?

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to understand, explain or rationalise this sort of brutish attack - whether it is inflicted on a white non-British person (as in this case), a non-white person, a gay person, or indeed anyone else who is perceived by the attacker as "different". Any such case is equally revolting.

The attackers are probably unthinking thugs who are simply bent on violence. That said, I do believe that the media have to shoulder some responsibility for the jingoistic and xenophobic material they routinely publish, and to an extent the same could be levelled at this website. There are a lot of stories posted here about immigration issues, and the comments those posts generate are often frighteningly hostile and racist. Of course we should have a sensible debate about immigration, but the constant "bad news" spin keeps the fire stoked and the temperature high.

I am NOT suggesting it lies behind violence, but I think it may be a contributory factor.

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to understand, explain or rationalise this sort of brutish attack - whether it is inflicted on a white non-British person (as in this case), a non-white person, a gay person, or indeed anyone else who is perceived by the attacker as "different". Any such case is equally revolting.

The attackers are probably unthinking thugs who are simply bent on violence. That said, I do believe that the media have to shoulder some responsibility for the jingoistic and xenophobic material they routinely publish, and to an extent the same could be levelled at this website. There are a lot of stories posted here about immigration issues, and the comments those posts generate are often frighteningly hostile and racist. Of course we should have a sensible debate about immigration, but the constant "bad news" spin keeps the fire stoked and the temperature high.

I am NOT suggesting it lies behind violence, but I think it may be a contributory factor.

Anonymous said...

I would expect the council to set up a working commitee and spend several months visiting european cities,eg,St Tropez,Cannes and Venice to see how they deal with similar problems.

Then, After several million pounds spent on consultants and experts,they will do the same as usual,NOTHING!!!!!!!!

J.G.Burns

Anonymous said...

i dont think it was because he was german, these attacks are becoming frequent on local citizens!!! it makes no diffrence if there old age pensioners white black or even from another planet, these yobs have no discression and the police do nothing to even address this ongoing problem.
sadly we live in a country which has no respect for people therefore we have sown the seeds of terrorism through lack of discipline in children and now we have to live with the results..

Anonymous said...

I have said so before on here previously and I will say it again - its not safe to walk on the streets of Thanet, particularly at night.
I am a large muscular male but that doesn't cut much ice when the opposition is 4 or 5 male youths who may well be carrying weapons and are high on drugs or drunk so they will be less responsive to any pain I may be able to inflict in self defence.
And what chance does some little old lady or student stand? Absolutely none.
Don't walk alone, don't walk at night, in fact if you have any choice in the matter at all - Don't walk!

Anonymous said...

I take exception,as a regular visitor to this sire with anon of 10.02pm's comments that posts on this site are "frighteningly hostile and racist".
If there were racist comments, I am sure Dr Moores would remove them. I am really tired, as are many people in this country, of the PC brigade's attempts to stifle any rational discussion of immigration by labelling such discussion racist. Please cite the racist comments you have read on this site please ,anon of 10.02 or is it possible that you are making an unfounded claim?

Anonymous said...

reading Anon 10.02 post it seems that he thinks that hostile racist comments on here (if there are any) are likely to increase attacks on immigrants/foreigners.
I doubt that any of the readers of this blog, however concerned they may be about uncontrolled immigration, are likely to resort to physical violence.
I haven't seen any bnp style racism on here but I have seen posts from local residents who are unhappy about the behaviour of some immigrants, as well as of our homegrown criminal element.
This must be discussed if it is of interest, you can't just ignore it and not be allowed to discuss it because some extremist liberal thinks it might be racist.

Anonymous said...

As it would appear that we are pretty well defenceless in the face of increasing violence and vandalism in Thanet, maybe we should be dealing with it in another way.
I suggest that householders be made immune from any prosecution if they defend themselves from an intruder/burglar or anyone attacking their family. I don't mean vigilante style lunacy but if we could at least protect ourselves and our posessions in and around our own homes it would be a start. After all, calling the Police is pointless and the local thugs might think twice if they knew they could be hurt and unable to sue for damages!

James Maskell said...

anonymous 1:58pm had a good idea. In fact Roger Gale proposed a Bill back in 2004 to deal with the fact that in this country you arent allowed to defend your property to the full extent you would want and should be allowed to. Sadly the Government blocked the Bill. This was after the famous Tony Martin case.

Infamously a poll wad done on Radio 4 about a "listeners law". Any guesses on what came tops...oh yes, a "Tony Martin's law". It was rejected despite being what the public wanted. A Labour MP, Stephen Pound, was due to bring in the Bill, but then turned chicken and backed out.

Its a farce basically. Your property had been broken into. You pick up whatever you can find to fend them off. Is the Government telling us that we have to consult a lawyer or the statute books before doing something about the criminals? I say crap to that, defend your property. Of course dont machete them, it has to be reasonable, but do what you can to get them away.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.58 - I think that is pretty well the case already, but it doesn't include setting mantraps or sitting in wait with a loaded shotgun and then shooting the burglar in the back.
I have a burglar alarm, a vicious dog with a loud bark,security lights, cctv cameras, locked high gates, non drying paint on downpipes, carpet gripper on top of fencing, broken glass on top of walls, and barbed wire looped around vulnerable places.
I have also left bits of wood lying around with nails sticking up under places where burglars might jump down.
Since I adopted these measures the attempts to burgle my house have been unsuccessful.
Before this I was burgled on average 4 times a year.
The police who attended the various burglaries mentioned to me on more than one occasion thet if I had to attack a burglar and damaged him then be sure to have a bit of injury apparent to myself and swear blind he went for me first.
Ihave been after one with a bit of 4x2 and believe me they don't like it.
Having said that most burglars are cowards and prefer to burgle empty houses without much security.
I am aware that some of my security is not strictly legal but it is very effective.

Anonymous said...

My partner works for a local language school. Last year they had 125 students at this time. This year they can only find 25. Seems the word has got around Europe that Thanet is not a safe place to send your kids. Enough said, the yobs are starting to cripple an important part of the local economy. Act now or there won't be any language busieness left at this rate! - JP

Anonymous said...

anon again!
As I sit back and ponder, I wonder if anybody is ever going to do anything about these FERAL activity's by our local cretinous youth.
STUPID, STPID, STUPID, is all that comes to mind.... they must be STUPID IDIOTS....

Who is to blame.... cretinous parents breed cretinous children...these are not louts, they are nothing but absolute brainless scum... need I say more?

Come on Mum's Army/Police/TDC get the barstewards...

Anonymous said...

There is nothing new about being set upon by scroats in Dane Park. Twelve years ago I had a call from margate police to go to margate hospital as one of my lads had been set upon by about 11 yuffs. They had kicked him in the face and head repeatedly breaking jaw and nose; thank god they were wearing trainers.
Proper policing and proper punishment is needed. The thug responsible for Mick Evans' serious injuries in Birchington was given a risible punishment. I do know however that the extended Evans clan are not happy and if I were that young lad I would consider moving from Thanet and fast.

Anonymous said...

Yes, if we can't get justice through the proper channels maybe it is time to take it into our own hands?
It is a tempting prospect and one that Kent's Finest always discourage, however when the average citizen is so badly let down by the so called justice system of this country what is the alternative?
There are so many hurdles to any proper criminal punsihment these days.
If Kent's Finest happen by some accident to arrest a perpetrator then CPS has to believe that they have a very high percentage chance of a conviction before they will launch a prosecution.
Then of course the jury will have to convict - and some of them may well be sympathetic to criminals.
Then the Judge has to sentence - and this is of course where it gets even worse - he is often very lenient and seems to think more of the criminal than the victim.
After that of course can be an appeal, and of course remission of most of the sentence even if the appeal is not successful as our jails are overcrowded.
And while in the nick doing time the criminal will learn many other criminal techniques from other inmates thus perpetuating his life of crime when he gets out.

It is so tempting to just get a few friends together and bash the guy's head in.

That could be real justice.

Snailspace said...

Why not just hang the Bastards.

James Maskell said...

"If we can't get justice through the proper channels maybe it is time to take it into our own hands"

With all due respect, I think that a stupid idea. I know that was meant as a semi serious point but really, it cannot be seen to be a good thing. We have enough trouble with crime enough without vigilante gangs springing up and doubling the crime count. If you want justice, it must be conducted through the legal system. If you go round and beat up people you suspect of being criminals, you will be taken to court. You will be found guilty and you will go to prison. You may think its a joke but does anyone really want to risk it? I hope you are joking. I am deadly serious about it. Vigilanteism is not self defence and no court in this country will see it as self-defence. Itll be GBH with intent and you will go down for years in prison.

John King said...

This is an awful story but this also happened when I was growing up in Thanet in the mid 80's. Most nights gangs would single out a foreign student and beat them up. This happened in Margate and Broadstairs, and probably elsewhere on the island.

The motivations?

1. To make themselves 'bigger' in front of their friends.
2. Nobody was ever punished, so why not?
3. Alcohol.
4. Boredom.

The only way I know of stopping this is to have more policemen patrolling these areas.

Anonymous said...

James - your 5.35 post. Do you there aren't any circumstances when using a machete on burglars would be lawful and appropriate?
For example: Let's say I am an 80 year old lady who has been cutting her garden back during the day and just happens to have a machete in the kitchen.
During the night she hears noises downstairs and sees several large men have broken her kitchen window and are trying to get in her house.
She, quite reasonably, is in fear for her life and property and picks up the machete and starts cutting them about in a serious manner until they give up and go away, leaving several severed limbs on the floor.
Legal? Illegal? Illegal but still a good idea?
Should she have used a kitchen knife instead?

There are so many scenarios when an action might be lawful or not depending on so many factors.

worm said...

What causes racist and xenophobic violence are:
1) Ignorance about, and fear of foreigners, fuelled by gossip, media hysteria, and in the case of youths like this, the attitude of the adults they are in contact with on a daily basis.
2)Self loathing fuelled by a sense of worthlessness, hopelessness, lack of opportunity.
3)A failure in education.
4)A failure of prominent public figures to counteract this hysteria. (Roger Gale is a lone voice in Thanet)

Racism and xenophobia are natural states of mind. It must be overcome by education and experience. Years ago there was bigotry against people from the next village let alone another country. These attitudes are surfacing again because this country is in retrograde motion with regard to attitudes toward work, education and public health.
If we choose to sacrifice the quality of these things for the sake of lower taxation and personal greed then we can only expect to pay in other, more painful ways.

Anonymous said...

Hey Worm, what makes you think we have lower taxation?
Since Tony and the Cronies came to power we have had substantial increases in the taxes we pay and of course many new taxes.
I would say that only the Liberals are coming clean about their wish to increase taxes, don't think they stand much chance of getting in.
The other parties will of course increase taxes but will try to conceal it, as its generally unpopular.
I do agree with much of what you state, but also would note that our perception of foreigners is also coloured by our experiences with them in the past, thus I don't really like contact with Germans as they killed half my family, or Japanese as my Father was imprisoned in bad conditions during the war and some of his friends were callously beheaded - and the Japanese have still not made any public admission or apology.
Haing said that I don't want to go around attacking those nationalities, just don't have anything in common with them, nor want any.
And as far as not liking people from the next village - well I live in Margate and feel uncomfortable going to Ramsgate.
So you must be right.

Anonymous said...

What is justice? The state has taken the right given by society to run the criminal justice system. If, because of odd ideas about not building prisons, the CPS are steered towards not prosecuting and judges are influenced not to award custodial sentences, has it not abrogated this right? If victims of crime and those affected by crime decide to mete out rough justice to those criminals who have wronged them, how is this vigilantism? I have no doubt that despite having been a law abiding member of society for all my life, if it were my partner's assailant walking free to continue his violence, I would be perfectly happy to take the law into my own hands and thus be prepared to take the consequences of such action.
Our politicians need to be aware that a great mass of the British people are fed up because they fail to see justice being done all around them.
Darren Botchett bludgeoned a teacher to death and assaulted the caretaker during a robbery at a school in the Cotswolds. He and his accomplice had at least 50 convictions each. Two days prior to this fatal attack Botchett had been released from custody and given a community punishment order. Clearly this laughable punishment neither punished or deterred. I wonder what the family of Botchett's victim, 53 year old Lawrence Hart, feel about the British Criminal Justice system? Sadly, this is just another example of countless similar tales from all over the country.

worm said...

Anon of 4.52
When I said lower taxation, I wasn't talking about us, I was talking about the rich who now pay a max of 40% rather than 90%.
Actually the issue is Corporate tax but I won't labour the point as you said you agree with most of what I say!
As for Ramsgate, I think you are probably right to be afraid. :D