I’ve just spent some time with a neighbour suffering racially-linked harassment. Cops have managed to screw-up a prosecution on a racially motivated assault, but some kind of act is labouring belatedly into gear. Not much has changed since we started to suffer similar, hate-related problems with the kind of people now causing this harassment of my new friend. We only saw improvements after the principle perpetrators of our harassment moved and they are continuing their behaviour in their new home, despite an assurance from our local inspector they would not be allowed to. The problems extend much wider than ineffective policing and I am led by my experience to believe we are living in a ‘suppression culture’ that prevents the real issues being addressed.
There are two fairly straight-forward ways to get into the real issues. The first requires a genuinely independent investigation into all the agencies that are supposed to help in the manner of the CHRE Report (Sep. 09) that exposed failings in social care over-sight. The second would be real-time evaluation of victim-centred investigation aimed at preventing victims being put at further risk both from perpetrators and the agencies supposed to help. This combined method would allow open public scrutiny through which public confidence could be understood and meaningfully measured. It is no accident that the population that has least confidence in police, other agencies and politicians is that that comes into contact with them in need.
In the course of more than 7 years of real suffering because of the dumping of a violent, criminal and severely disturbed family next door to us, we discovered there is really nowhere and no one to turn to. Our MP’s behaviour has been both nasty and weak enough for him to need deselection. Politicians generally are seeking to hide the problems behind false public statements and the promotion of ‘success stories’. Senior public servants collude with this and in false reporting of improvements and this extends into over-sight bodies. Victims are routinely denied representation and are isolated. Complaints systems simply do not work and have been established in order that they could not work with sufficient speed or uncorrupted evidence. There is no real access to the courts for victims either. The only way I can think of to bring the extremely serious matters into public scrutiny is to commit a criminal offence as climate protesters did last year.
What should be a simple matter of bringing attention to disturbed and dangerous families to get housing and social support in and bring protection to victims, is in almost total disarray.