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A dilemma


A dilemma

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Frances
Frances
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Hi All

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.

F

rme123
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Hi Frances,

First of all, I'm really sorry to hear that this happened to you. It must have been a very upsetting experience. 

If it were me (also an ex-offender) I would have no hesitation in reporting the incident. Just because you have been through the system and believe people should be given a second chance, that doesn't mean that people shouldn't also be held accountable for their actions. For all we know, this could be a one-off incident or this individual could have a history of this kind of behaviour. Either way, they might actually benefit from an encounter with the law - not just for the sake of public safety, but also because the individual might need some help or direction in life, otherwise their behaviour could continue and/or escalate.

So in short, I would report it if I were in your shoes. Will be interesting to hear what other forum members think.
Thorswrath
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You should report it and i completely agree with 'rme123' I think by not reporting it you are condoning their actions. As rme123 said, it could be a one off moment of madness or part of a list of repeated offenses, either way you don't know whether or not the individual would benefit from intervention but to just let it go means they may never have the opportunity to understand the consequences of their actions, they might then turn over a new leaf or they might just be a repeat offender. Even though i have a record, i don't believe the offenders rights are more important than the victims and as you are a victim of this crime you should exercise your right to justice.

Harmless
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Frances - 5 Feb 20 8:50 AM
Hi All

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.

F

I would have had no qualms about calling the police. It's what they're there for. 

He'll get a short sharp punishment. Months in jail maybe at worst, short record too.
 

Harmless
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Harmless - 5 Feb 20 1:32 PM
Frances - 5 Feb 20 8:50 AM
Hi All

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.

F

I would have had no qualms about calling the police. It's what they're there for. 

He'll get a short sharp punishment. Months in jail maybe at worst, short record too.
 

I'll tell you what though. There was a time when some youths got their knobs out at me as I passed by. They will have outgrown that kind of thing in 2 years though. If they could have been given a short sharp punishment, I'd have reported them to police. But knowing what I know now, about the creepy crawly life destroying exceptionalism toward sexual offences, I let it go.




JASB
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Frances - 5 Feb 20 8:50 AM
Hi All

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.

F

Hi
I emphasis with the emotional stress put on you by being a victim but also as an ex-offender and please bear with me why I offer my thoughts. I am an ex-offender and I am struggling to change the view of the majority of society that "anyone" can offend but they can also learn from that to become what we term as "rehabilitated".

First the actual details of the offence only matter if you report it - an action I would recommend. See the end for actions I would do.

We would agree the percentage chances of you finding and therefore talking to this individual are not reasonably in your favour, so you cannot explain the consequences of offending e.g. the circle of their victims grows and encompasses more people than they may think. Therefore and as we all know, you will not have the chance to offer your words directly if the authorities are involved. If however by writing a positive - non condemning - impact statement to the Judge, the outcome may be surprising.

In my view your considerations should be more concerned with understanding your own emotional long term damage!
As you mention, you feel inclined that you must in some way help the individual's future i.e. not getting a criminal record, which is understandable due to the emotional effects on you by your past. The question to ask yourself "is this just your quilt making this option more prominent and favourable?" Only you can answer that if you are to be honest with yourself as your words do not suggest your motive is revenge.

Your words suggest you understand the impact of any offence on the "wide circle of victims" created, the impacts may be long term and not recognisable at first but they will be there. We all know each one of us ex-offenders at some time feel aggravated, frustrated and selfish by comparing our fate to what we perceive as "the luck of the draw of others". I know I do. That moment could be the time your decision will reappear in either in its ugly or pleasant nature. By this I mean, whatever your decision, at some time in the future when your past affects you, you need to not view this decision as ugly and so regrettable.   

Whatever your decision, I hope at some time in the future you will still be happy with it.
Evidence gathering ideas:
The video evidence is there - for how long is questionable so you must contact the pub and other buildings ASAP before they delete it. You have factual evidence from the driver of the other car, get them to write it down ASAP before any details could be questionable due to memory loss / time. In this time of under resourcing you having this will strengthen your case.




Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
Trevor
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JASB - 5 Feb 20 2:28 PM
Frances - 5 Feb 20 8:50 AM
Hi All

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.

F

Hi
I emphasis with the emotional stress put on you by being a victim but also as an ex-offender and please bear with me why I offer my thoughts. I am an ex-offender and I am struggling to change the view of the majority of society that "anyone" can offend but they can also learn from that to become what we term as "rehabilitated".

First the actual details of the offence only matter if you report it - an action I would recommend. See the end for actions I would do.

We would agree the percentage chances of you finding and therefore talking to this individual are not reasonably in your favour, so you cannot explain the consequences of offending e.g. the circle of their victims grows and encompasses more people than they may think. Therefore and as we all know, you will not have the chance to offer your words directly if the authorities are involved. If however by writing a positive - non condemning - impact statement to the Judge, the outcome may be surprising.

In my view your considerations should be more concerned with understanding your own emotional long term damage!
As you mention, you feel inclined that you must in some way help the individual's future i.e. not getting a criminal record, which is understandable due to the emotional effects on you by your past. The question to ask yourself "is this just your quilt making this option more prominent and favourable?" Only you can answer that if you are to be honest with yourself as your words do not suggest your motive is revenge.

Your words suggest you understand the impact of any offence on the "wide circle of victims" created, the impacts may be long term and not recognisable at first but they will be there. We all know each one of us ex-offenders at some time feel aggravated, frustrated and selfish by comparing our fate to what we perceive as "the luck of the draw of others". I know I do. That moment could be the time your decision will reappear in either in its ugly or pleasant nature. By this I mean, whatever your decision, at some time in the future when your past affects you, you need to not view this decision as ugly and so regrettable.   

Whatever your decision, I hope at some time in the future you will still be happy with it.
Evidence gathering ideas:
The video evidence is there - for how long is questionable so you must contact the pub and other buildings ASAP before they delete it. You have factual evidence from the driver of the other car, get them to write it down ASAP before any details could be questionable due to memory loss / time. In this time of under resourcing you having this will strengthen your case.



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. 
GO


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