Poverty and Crime

My best mate is blind.  I’ve lost count of the number of people who asked me over the years whether he was blind and what benefit dodge he was on.  Cops tell me of people they suspect of training their kids to show signs of attention deficit hyperactivity and other stuff to attract benefits.  One study by a researcher who spent 18 months living in a deprived area found that family income being assessed as low as £4000 a year could be as high as £17000 when other,mostly black sources were included. I know several people operating scams of one form or another way beyond ‘doing foreigners’or being able to buy fags, booze and other goods through the black economy.  I still find genuine poverty (don’t ask me to define this – the experts have so many I can’t keep up).  Estimates of the size of the black economy differ from around 10% of GDP.

I’ve been living on the edge of a deprived estate.  Some of what goes on and the authorities’ reactions to it is scandalous.  We see some apparently straight-talking about it in police blogs, but much as my personal experience of having scrote moved in next door was a disaster and there is little effective work done to stop the vile networks of such people, the real problems seem to have no operational definition that would help us take proper action.  It’s easy enough to say capitalism is failing, but that doesn’t help much either.  There’s a need for wide debate, yet I know as an academic this has gone on for years and the problems have only got worse.

I wonder if we have ideas.  One that won’t go away for me is that all the “answers” seem to involve keeping a whole wad of bureaucrats in business and what resources there are seem to be leached away by them.  I wonder if gthere is some kind of model that would not lead to simply funding cops, social workers and various leeches such as lawyers in vast disproportion to spend on the actual problem?  I don’t mean by this that cops and others turning up to try to do something are leeches, but I do suspect the allocated money is largely wasted.

I’d contend we have become far too corrupt to easily see what evidence is across our public affairs or even the need to understand how easily we form opinion without it.  This is more than stereotyping or groupthink and we need to include concealment.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/20/saville-inquiry-killings-soldiers-troubles-northern-ireland links to a Guardian article revealing that at least 150 deaths ’caused’ by military personnel in NI were not properly investigated.  My own view is that none of the NI situation was ever properly investigated.  I am not partisan in this, believing soldiers have been wrongly convicted as well as not charged when they should have been.  The big problem is that we have no means of working with the real evidence across our organisations.  The best evidence is hidden from us more or less across the board by people with vested interest being able to choose who investigates.  Factionalism prevails not because of relativism but because evidence is not produced in a manner that is truly about demonstration.

I believe our ideas on poverty and crime are equally skewed as is most of the teaching and ‘knowledge’ to which we are exposed.  The evidence needed is not reliably collected and after that we are working in a world of myth.  This suits many people, but it doesn’t serve us at all well.  The main question on evidence may well be who the hell is hiding it?

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4 thoughts on “Poverty and Crime

  1. Yes ACO, the system is well and truly twisted. It does seem to be that some people appear to get a great deal of help from the welfare state, especially if they have a social worker helping them to claim whatever benefit it is, relevant to their own, or their child’s disability.
    It’s also a case of if one’s face fits!

    If it doesn’t “fit”, even if one is a genuine case, telling the truth, then they just don’t help that person, nor their kids. ADHD and dyslexia were not acknowledged as “real” when my kids were in school, years ago.

    I had hyperactive children, who are also quite severly dyslexic, which was VERY hard work for myself in the raising of them. The hyperactivity was draining on me, physically and emotionally. Raising kids isn’t a “cushy” job anyway, especially when they are little, and teen years, but conditions like ADHD and dyslexia mean that the child needs MORE of ones time, attention, care, understanding and energy…..to ensure they do learn how to behave properly and the difference between right and wrong. They don’t raise themselves once they get to 13 yrs.

    When they get to teen years, the challenges of the rough and tumble of over-crowded schools, constant flu type virus’s and the pressures placed upon the kids by the school system, can have a negative impact upon children’s health. All of mine, at one point or another had post viral fatigue,which didn’t improve because of pressure to attend school rather than rest at home until better.
    Two of my children developed M.E, and still have it now, and I didn’t get ANY extra benefits for their disability.

    No, I got insults instead, and unhelpful “blaming” attitudes. You know the sort of ignorant people who just have to “blame the mother” because the child keeps getting all the flu bugs that go around in school. The same type that also threaten the mother with prosecution because of a child’s “poor attendance”. Same type who would also demand a medical note from the doctor, to “prove” a child’s illness and reason for absence from school. The fact that GP’s stopped doing home visits, and if a child is too unwell to get to the surgery by public transport, because Mum cannot afford a taxi, there and back again, seemed to escape their understanding!

    Trying to get any help from the medical profession years ago, for conditions like ADHD, dyslexia and also the Neurological illness M.E, was a nightmare and a waste of time. They were arrogant and wrote negative comments in NHS records, which smeared my name, the mother trying to get a medical diagnosis and help for her kids. With dyslexia, there can be frequent mis-communications and misunderstandings, because of “word-blindness”, or not using the appropriate word/s to describe or explain something.

    So, in a 5 minute appointment, when the kids were able to travel to the surgery, I would explain what the problem was. Some GP’s totally mis-interpreted the situation and took exception to my discussing my children’s health problem at the begining of an appointment. I was trying to save time and avoid any misunderstanding, because my kids were not always very clear in expressing themselves a lot of the time. Arrogant GP’s mis-interpreted that as myself wanting their attention, and possibly exaggerating the illness my kids were suffering from, due to constant flu type virus’s picked up IN SCHOOL.

    All my fault, naturally!….. as far as the system was concerned. Who else could they blame for over-crowding in school, the pressure THEY placed upon my kids, and for the stress they experienced at the hands of bullies, and the bugs they caught because virus’s spread very quickly in a school environment! Well they wouldn’t blame themselves, would they? The state system that was supposed to be there to help and support Her Majesty’s subjects, turned into a system that oppressed, judged, criticised and often victimised the very people it was supposed to be “serving” as a public service.

    I do not believe tales of parents “traing” their kids to appear to have signs of ADHD to obtain more benefits.
    The system doesn’t work like that, despite all the nonsense written in the press and on some unofficial police blogs about people on benefits. The benefits system is actually quite harsh, with tough standards of having to prove and illness or a disability, which kids cannot fake. Real life for the majority who have an illness which prevents them from working, is NOT like the TV programme “Shameless”. There may be a few like that.

    I have read on police blogs often enough, that the “real” life workings of the police force are not like the ITV programme “The Bill”. Those who need the help of benefits to survive because of circumstances beyond their control, are not all “shameless”.

    You talk of “evidence”. My own experiences of state employees who made “notes” about myself, as a person who had suffered abuse and assaults, was that they twisted what was stated, and twisted the facts to suit themselves.

  2. Hard to disagree on any of this Minxy. The professionals are pretty poor, unless you can get through to the right person. Benefits can be OK if you trip the right threshold, but have broadly been useless when I needed them.
    I’ve found the low-level people who should help a mix of very good and utterly abject. Their bosses are worse and it’s clear the system doesn’t really work on the real problems and can’t admit mistakes in a manner that would get things to improve. I’ve found the agencies do twist facts, but the real problem is they can’t find them.

  3. It’s hard to disagree with a lot you say on here ACO.
    It can be grim…….but not without gratitude for a degree of help sometimes. Not all bad experiences with folks in the system. There are some good people in the world, with an understanding of some of the problems the police and society has had to deal with since the 50’s.

    Sadly, when organisations refuse to acknowledge they got it wrong, the lessons that really DO need to be learned, as they often say, in response to another tragic case,…… do not get learnt by the organisation that refuses to see where they may well have made mistakes!

    Failing to acknowledge mistakes and misunderstandings that have resulted in harm to another, is not in the public’s best interest at all. Cover ups never are!

    There has to be checks and balances for any organisation, to ensure that it does “serve the public”, with respect.

    If the facts “cannot be found”, perhaps someone is concealing them, because of an anticipated media backlash that would be embarrassing for some public services, and others.

    Here’s a fact for you Allcopped…..I just don’t want the hassle with anyone, at my age……can’t be “bover’d”….
    I’m off now, walking away….job done….. Peace and Love, Allcopped, and to all the unsung heroes out there,
    the good guys/gals in the public services and elsewhere.
    Without, whom there would be chaos and anarchy and a much worse country to live in. I have a lot to be grateful for.

    It’s not all bad out there……that’s a gloomy picture and one which overlooks a real fact, which is…..that the darkest days are over, this is a “new dawn” in humanity’s history, new and better understanding between people……and the kindness of strangers, heals a lot.

    Best Regards to you ACO, and friends ….some great blogs!

  4. Organisations can start to encourage madness. What is an armed cop doing in England when he forces journalists to stop taking pictures at a demonstration? Has he become insane and come to believe he does not live in a democracy?

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