Friday 27 January 2012 2.27pm
What I don't get is why people don't help. I mean, sure, don't intervene directly if you're scared, but dial 999 - there's a crime in progress.
I was involved in an incident a few years ago outside a supermarket where some kids (maybe 15 years old) were stealing a bike. I was locking mine up and spotted them, and challenged them on it. Everyone else looked on and didn't assist, so they got away. Afterwards, one of the onlookers told me I shouldn't have done anything because they might have had a knife. After this, I thought in a similar situation (like this on Bermondsey Street
, where I live), the thing I would do in future is:
- tell (don't ask) someone else to dial 999. (Or call myself, but getting other people involved creates strength in numbers and dialling 999 is easy)
- if I don't want to directly intervene, being a witness can help, and if someone else intervenes, show support, even by just standing close to them and acting as witness.
I have no idea if this is advice the police would suggest, and would love to know how they think people should act, but I think lack of action in these cases just makes it worse.
(After my experience, the thing that upset me most was the lack of support from others, far more than the behaviour of young criminals who appeared to have never been challenged on anything and were genuinely shocked and surprised by my response.)