By Frances - 5 Feb 20 8:50 AM
I've recently had a bit of a dilemma that I'd like to share. I'm not really looking for an answer but I'd be interested in hearing what you'd do if you came across the following scenario.
I have a criminal record and for the last 8 years I've worked for an organisation which supports ex-offenders. Everyday I spread the message that people can and do change and I feel passionately that we shouldn't continue to criminalise people for the least little thing.
However, last week my beliefs were really challenged and it came as a complete shock to me - I became a victim of crime.
That sounds a bit more dramatic than what it was. In a completely unprovoked attack a young lad in his early 20's on a pushbike came up to my car at a set of traffic lights and kicked my wing mirror off, threw his bike against the drivers window and then started kicking the drivers door. I'm not sure whether he'd mistook my car for somebody else's but the result was approximately £350 worth of damage. It happened right next to the entrance of a pub car park which had a camera pointing at the road so it's possible that there would be a record of the incident and the guy in the car behind me gave me his contact details and told me he'd witnessed what had happened.
So to my dilemma - for the first time in ages I felt really vulnerable and my gut instinct was to contact the police, however as I drove home I knew that this went against everything that I believed in. I've not reported the incident but instead have had to listen to friends and family tell me that I should and I'm mad if I don't!!! It's more than likely that if I did report it the police wouldn't take it any further but if they did potentially this young lad could be charged with criminal damage.
Seeing as everybody on this forum has been affected by a criminal record, what would you have done? Really interested in your thoughts.
By Trevor - 2 Mar 20 12:29 PM
I'm really sorry to hear what happened to you, and I should say that my reaction is based on being a victim of the criminal justice system rather than a victim of crime. So feel absolutely free to ignore what I say. I wouldn't report it. The guy will find himself in the maw of a system that chews people up and spits them out. If it was a proper justice system (i.e. punishment proportional to the crime, then rehabilitation and the right to be forgotten) then I'd advise reporting him. But it's not. So let him be and hope he sorts himself out. The CJ system would only make that more, rather than less, likely.