Wednesday 3 December 2008

Crime and Punishment

The Beautiful Son has a paper round where he delivers 24 papers 6 days a week for the princely sum of £9, yep that's right in rain, hail and snow he delivers for the grand sum of £1.50 per day, it takes him about an hour.

Yesterday as normal, he left his bike outside the shop and in the 90 seconds it took him to collect his bag, someone nicked his bike. There is nowhere to chain a bike too so all the paperboys just leave them leaning against the shop window. So my uncomplaining wee scone did his round on foot and arrived home ashen faced and very trembly wondering what had happened. He pondered a few scenarios and they were as followed

a - one of his mates had ridden it home for a joke

b - that he had lost it !

c - that it had been stolen

In a way I'm glad he has that naivety still, he kept asking me, how people could do that, he couldn't comprehend that people take things that belong to other people. He wondered what their parents would say when they came home with an extra bike. His last comment was that he didn't know how they could sleep at night.

The worst part of this for him was that it was his good mate Ollie's bike that had been stolen, my son's bike had had a puncture and his mate had very kindly lent him his bike, so my wee scone now has to tell his good mate that his bike's been stolen. My son couldn't eat his tea, he was meant to go to a party last night and just couldn't face it, we went round to his friends house to tell them but no one was in, so TBS just got more and more fretful and worked up about this.

When we did tell Ollie and his Mum, they couldn't have been kinder or more understanding, they were so reassuring to TBS that it wasn't his fault and that it wasn't a bike Ollie uses much, he'd outgrown it but still we felt badly and obviously Gordon and I have offered to pay any insurance excess or replace the bike for Ollie, as I say Ollie and his parents have been so understanding about this.

The horrible thing is that despite the CCTV in the shop they are unlikely to be caught and they will probably just mess about and wreck Ollies bike. What a waste. Why do they do this ? What makes them take things that don't belong to them ? People work hard to give their children nice things , what gives anyone the right to take what's not their's ? I grew up in a council estate in Glasgow, no one had pots of money and I'm sure I would have loved a new bike but I would never have taken someone elses because I knew it was stealing and I knew it was wrong. My kids know right from wrong, why don't others ? Do people think it's worth breaking the law because it's likely they'll just be told off and some Guardian reading probation officer will put it down to bad parenting and deprivation, bollocks to that, stealing is wrong and everyone knows that.

I phoned the police to report this and they were terribly nice, the lady I spoke to asked me if my son was hurt and I was slightly puzzled for a minute and then I realised that sometimes kids bikes are taken from them forcefully, and thankfully he wasn't and she also asked me if I had reported a crime to the police in the last 12 months and I truthfully said that I had never reported a crime in my whole life and she said " You're very fortunate in that and probably quite unusual"

And I very probably am, my children have grown up in this nice middle class bubble where a lot of the nastier stuff in life hasn't managed to penetrate. I wonder now if when they leave me to live in the less protected world where there are muggings and violence, will they be able for it ?


Nota Bene said...

That's such a shame.

Life's lessons can be a nasty shock when you're young.

And the world seems more full of selfish and dishonest people than ever before.

Laura said...

Some people suck, it's a hard fact of life. It's horrible when bad thing happen to good people.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. What a horrid thing! Sadly, life will probably give them more lessons about the harsh reality of the world. Disheartening as it is, the foundations you have given them will carry them through.

Tim Atkinson said...

Crime - however insignificant on wider canvass - affects children deeply. Sally went into shock after a very minor burglary a couple of years ago and took ages to regain the confidence to go upstairs alone. Do the bastards responsible think of that?

Anonymous said...

poor kid! horrible thing to have happened. working where i do, some of the kids have no respect for other peoples property or feelings - a complete lack of empathy and inability to see anothers point of view...lack of parental nurturing and a society too obsessed with rights and not responsibilities (and this has nothing to do with poverty per-se...)....hopefully he can put this down to experience and not let it get to

DAB said...

I feel so sorry for your son, such a hard lesson to learn. What has happened to our moral standards in this country? Teach our kids the difference between right and wrong. Bring back the cane methinks! (did I really say that, shame on you TF, wash your mouth out with soap and water)


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

AG – this is so thoroughly sickening and gets me truly angry. I am disgusted by the scumbags that feel they have a sense of entitlement to things that don’t belong to them. Now that we have a recession on the go, no doubt crime is going to escalate to extreme levels – it did the last time there was a recession. It’s frightening to know that we all work with criminals such as burglars and other thieves who aren’t active until they get made redundant. Clearly the little gits that nicked your son’s friends’ bike are from families that operate with no morals, sense of decency or conscience. I had the wheels nicked off my week old company car many years ago – the kids did get caught but two of the gang were from families where the parents then earned 100k between them. They were so busy building careers they left the little darlings to entertain themselves and they got into the wrong crowd.

Your wonderful son has a great mum to bolster him and protect him and that’s all you can do in life. He knows right from wrong and I guess it’s cold comfort but the majority of people are like that and a small minority are repeat criminals who make life a misery for all and sundry.

Shirley said...

I'm so sorry, AG, for all of you. My youngest got her iPod stolen at our small country school. She had worked and saved, and bought it used on eBay. I think the hardest part of the whole thing was realizing that it had to have been one of her friends that took it.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about this theft. unfortunately there are those out there who think it's their God given right to go around stealing other peoples property because they want something. the soonr they bring back some sort of detterent the better. I'm very lucky where I live on the IOM where there is a very, very low crime rate. Could it have something to do with the fact that they only stopped using the birch about ten years ago? Just a thought.Hope it turns up but somehow I doubt it.

ME said...

How terrible, I don't get people like that - that can just take something that isn't theirs. Two good things: You children will never be like this and it's unfortunate they have to even realize the world has people like this in it. Secondly, Karma will take care of the theif.

Mom/Mum said...

Oh no AG - I feel for you and TBS. How he handled it though shows you've raised to him to be an emotionally smart and sensitive boys, which is this world of robbers, thieves and selfishness, is refreshing to hear. As lisaq says, you've given him wonderful foundations for his journey through life, however rocky that path will undoubtedly be...

auntiegwen said...

NB - I think it was a shock for him, his first reaction was that he'd lost the bike !

Lolly - sad but true honey

Lisa - I hope so, but if they always play fair it's hard to comprehend why others don't

Tim - poor Sally, that's a very nasty shock, you should always feel safe in your own home and to take that away from a child is disgusting

M - you're so on the money with the rights and responsibilities x

TF - I wonder what would deter them ? x

Mob - you said it, it's the sense of entitlement that does my head in x

Shirley - that's so horrible, much worse than this and such a hard thing for her to accept x

Mannanan - I think that may have something to do with it, but when people have forgotten about the birch will crime go up I wonder ?

craze - I hope so x

mom/mum - I wonder if he'll be able for the rougher tougher elements of life, my kids have had a lot of priviledges but I know I was much more aware of the societal haves and have nots at their age as my upbinging was much less sheltered.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Oh horrible for your lovely son, and very sad that these things do happen all the time. When we lived in Cambridge, we once had 5 bikes stolen in ONE week!! And Cambridge is such a "nice" place! M :-(