Viewing all items for tag Crime

House Party

The violent monkey-man who lived next door has moved out.

He had a ‘party’ with some of his stylish gentleman friends on Saturday night to celebrate his departure. It got very out of hand. There was noise, destruction on a grand scale and intimidation on a small scale.

He and and mates from ‘oop narth’ managed to: play drum-and-bass music loud enough to shake the foundations of the houses of his neighbours (including me) until three o’clock in the morning; destroy the fence that separates his garden from mine and, along with the new pine decking from his neighbour on the other side, burn it in a big bonfire; and threaten the wife of the aforementioned neighbour-on-the-other-side with a tight fist and gnashing teeth if she even thought about calling the police.

She didn’t call the police. Neither did I. We were too frightened to get involved.

The next morning we surveyed the damage together and decided that it could have been a lot worse. No one was injured and our houses escaped with only minor damage considering the fury of the ‘celebrations’.

‘That’s life,’ she told me.

I had to agree with ironic resignation that sadly, these days, it often is.

Crowds of gloating onlookers gathered throughout the day on Sunday to tut and shake their heads in arch wonder.

Along with the general Mongol Hordes of the village and their mentally disabled children, there was a constant stream of squawking teenagers whose comments had a sad calculation to them. ‘Not so clever now, are we?’ one of them shouted at me as I was picking up empty bottles, bricks and pieces of stained wood that once constituted my garden fence. He smiled broadly at his girlfriend as if he had just uttered the most profound and hilarious comment ever known in the history of mankind.

‘Oh go home and tidy your hormones,’ I told him, drily.

I think he probably did.

Teenage Kicks

I’d like to congratulate the thoughtful teenage tearaways who wandered down our street on Friday evening pouring paintstripper on parked cars.

Thanks, guys; without your considerate actions my neighbours would have nothing to talk about all day – and I would not have had the opportunity to be questioned for thirty minutes by a twelve-year-old policeman who couldn’t string three words together this morning while I was trying to do my work.

Luckily, they missed my car completely but Susan and Allen at number 29 had a lovely surprise when they arose on Saturday to find their new Mini Cooper liberally covered in the stuff, likewise the people at number 27 and 25 and others all the way down the street to the bottom of the hill.

Ah, teenagers, don’t you just love ‘em?

(I still reckon it’s a good job that, in this country, it is illegal to own a gun.)

And Multiply

There is a boy whose photograph is splashed all over the front page of the local paper today who was viciously attacked by a gang of youths at the weekend. He was so badly beaten, his own reflection didn’t recognise him.

His attackers are typical of hundreds of young males around here: ignorant and intolerant – and there are just too many of them. On this occasion, their victim was chosen because he has Tourette’s syndrome, which is like having a large sign on his back that says Hurt Me. And hurt him they did.

I feel so sorry for him because, according to the report in the paper, when he arrived at the casualty department of the local hospital, he was searched by nurses who discovered that he was wearing women’s knickers, a fact that – believe it or not – has now become a focus of the police investigation.

There are just too many unemployed and unintelligent young people in this area. Families are allowed to breed unchecked, to produce too many atavistic offspring. The village is largely populated by uneducated, randy Catholics who should be made to convert to a more sensible religion or at least be taught the benefits of birth control.

To be honest with you, I am surprised that there is enough cider in the Co-op for all of them.

The Sacred and The Profane

We walked to Blackwell church yesterday and had a wander around the cemetery. In spite of the heavy rain, my mood was distinctly elevated, an effect achieved in most part by spending a few minutes reading some of the lovely epitaphs on the various headstones. Some are very beautiful and touching, unlike the disgusting graffiti that can be found everywhere in the small graveyard.

A couple of the Jewish graves that reside at the back under an old beech tree have been vandalised more than most, an unfortunate state of affairs that receives frequent high-pitched coverage in the local press. In spite of this, I was not expecting the degree of odium and hate that was to be found in those particular messages and I hope that somebody manages to remove them as soon as possible. Neither would I repeat any of the appalling sentiments here; they are pure filth. The person who did it deserves to be severely punished – but, of course, I suspect his or her identity will never be discovered or disclosed.

The slogans daubed on other headstones and on the heavy church doors were of a more benign – if that is the correct word – nature and mostly alluded to the act of anal sex. I am sure you can imagine their nature. I blame someone called Dokie for most of this stuff because it is his elaborate sig that can found sprayed on almost every available vertical surface. Some of his work will have limited appeal – ‘Hitler was a Derby goalie’, for instance, will be confusing to people who are not fans of English football – and its implications are rather complicated, to say the least.

Meanwhile, on the wooden notice-board at the church entrance, in between posters for the Friday coffee morning, the annual summer fête and various jumble sales, someone had been busy with a silver marker pen. This was in a different hand and was of a more humorous nature. I allowed myself a smile as I read: ‘My mother made me a homosexual’ underneath which some wag had added: ‘If I send her the wool, will she make me one, too?’ Another posed the question: ‘Who was Darwin?’ to which someone had answered, ‘He instigated the Evolution’ – which displays either very sophisticated or very muddled thinking, depending on your point of view.

Before we left for home, I had to look twice at a relatively fresh headstone upon which had been expertly engraved: ‘Here Lies John S . . . ., Father and Husband, Forever Awkward’. Someone desperate to have the final word, I thought. But on closer inspection, I realised the words were actually ‘Forever Loved’.

CCTV Fever

‘Have you seen all the bloody cameras springing up all over the village?’ I was asked this morning. ‘Big Brother is watching you,’ he said.

It was Reg, the fellow who is always telling me old jokes – jokes not heard since the days of valve radio. He wasn’t joking this morning, though; he seemed genuinely concerned that his human rights were being, if not abused, then at least compromised in some way.

‘I shall have a look the next time I’m down by the shops,’ I told him.

He wasn’t wrong, either. Nearly every shop in the market place has, or is in the process of being fitted with, some kind of surveillance equipment.

As I walked towards the Co-op, I counted a dozen different business premises, all twelve with CCTV cameras proudly protecting their shop fronts. This would not be unexpected in a major city or busy urban environment but this is a quiet ex-mining village on the outskirts of the Peak District.

Pennine Bakers, the cosy little cake shop on the market place has an enormous white camera pointing at its door and another inside the entrance, most likely in case some old lady eats too many custard slices and has a fit during which she hurls herself over the counter at Mrs McPhail the assistant manageress and tries to rob the antique cash register of its twenty pound note. Either that or it has been fitted to record the angry faces of the East European immigrants who may turn nasty again when the shop runs out of Polish poppy seed cake.

I noticed too that the florist shop had a state-of-the-art camera that followed me as I passed by. This has probably been installed to protect against the marauding Friday-lunchtime drunkards who have been known to riot occasionally when buying Carnations for their ugly wives or when hiring a Giant Elvis for their weekend barbecues.