view from afar

Only three days into what was to become a very enjoyable vacation in the the tropical paradise which is the Caribbean, my attention was drawn to the 'disturbances' occurring in London and the 'provinces'.

I was shocked and somewhat dismayed on two fronts; one, that police action, whether correctly or incorrectly, resulted in a fatality and two, that fatality been used as an excuse for riot and looting by some sectionsof UK society; this rioting itself resulting in further fatalities.

Interestingly, the overriding opinions I heard from over five thousand miles away was not what I would have expected.

Jamaica has a reputation (somewhat undeserved) as having a high level of crime. While some urban areas have a reputation for criminality mainly gang related, the region has a far lower crime rate than most places in the world.

Virtually all the people I spoke to in the Caribbean were very shocked to see the UK, which is regarded as a very 'civilised' country, experience open criminality on such a wide scale. Given that the mass media is a very poor instrument to judge the true scale of an issue, most commentators agreed that those in England just did not appreciate what they had and the freedoms that they take for granted.

It was constantly commented on in bars and markets that, had something similar occurred in the 'Islands', there would have been many more 'bust heads' amongst the rioters. I detected little sympathy for those caught causing criminal damage or receiving the stolen proceeds of the riots.

The prevalence of 'young' people in the disturbances might be seen as an indication that they are not gainfully occupied (a result of unemployment or summer vacation boredom possibly?) and see nothing inherently wrong with taking goods unlawfully or causing wanton destruction.

Perhaps sections of our society feel that they have no fear of being apprehended (considering the prevalence of CCTV and video surveillance, that is surprising) or more likely, they just have no feel anymore for the rights and properties of others.

Popular opinion seems to point towards this disturbance as a further indication of the 'erosion of western society'. If our youth are like this now, what becomes of society when they are the adults and just as pertinent, what will their children have respect for?

The obvious questions here are:

With the perceived increase in individual human rights over society's rights, What can we do about it?

Are we willing for our individual rights to be altered in favour of society, law and order?

If you think it is worth contemplating Tweet us @SRiForensics