Sunday, February 17, 2008

I know it’s off subject – but what’s gone wrong with our society?

1,000 emergency workers a week assaulted

Doctors, nurses, ambulance crews, health visitors and firefighters across Britain are being subjected to frightening assaults as they go about helping the public. The latest figures show there were at least 57,205 attacks on health and emergency workers last year, although the true figure is thought to be much higher as many cases go unreported. Communities are breaking down, society fragmenting, we are seriously thinking of going to Oz or NZ - if they'll have us.

Posted by uncle chris @ 10:48 AM (1070 views)
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15 thoughts on “I know it’s off subject – but what’s gone wrong with our society?

  • japanese uncle says:

    The world depicted by Clockwork Orange (by Stanley Kubrick, 1968) is precisely becoming the reality. What a vision he had!

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  • Let’s break down the figures:
    “Youths pelted firemen with bricks” – There’s one major problem, kids have nothing to do. Set up some cheap youth clubs (preferably sports-based) for them to burn off their energy, and they’ll stop throwing rocks and mugging grannies.

    These solutions cost money, but it doesn’t have to be much. The kids clubs would probably pay for themselves in terms of reduced crime and antisocial behaviour.

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  • drewster said:
    >>Set up some cheap youth clubs (preferably sports-based) for them to burn off their energy, and they’ll stop throwing rocks and mugging grannies.

    You think scrooge Brown will spend some money here? Your suggestion smells like an increase in public spending to me.

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  • Author Anthony Burgess.. certainly had vision. Brother.. lol

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  • drewster,
    From my experience, there are no “cheap” youth club options. There is so much red tape associated with any youth activities. Assuming you can get willing volunteers, the assaults and aggravation that you get from parents will soon reduce your team of assistants. There is a parental culture of sueing any voluntary organisation’s workers (who need to have been trained) for any action which could aversely affect their offspring, real or imagined.

    Add to that the willingness of feral kids letting off fire extinguishers (it’s fire regs to provide them), pressing alarms and “testing” ceiling tiles will soon pull most club premesis to shreds, quickly. If you are cutting up cake, don’t forget to conform to hygene laws or you will be shut down by your local (jobsworth) authority. Make sure your volunteers are police checked …write the cheque to….

    Laws that were designed to protect youth have been used by local authorities to close down or bankrupt youth clubs until now – guess what – kids have nowhere to go and so create a nuisance of themselves.

    Been there, taken the knocks…… Well done politicians, another problem solved!

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  • Alan, you are so right! The churches in my area run a number of “clubs” designed particularly to help those from difficult backgrounds. As well as running clubs for children and teenagers there is also a club for mothers and toddlers where the children are looked after by volunteers for some of the time while the mothers are given some practical help with various issues ranging from discipline to helping your child be creative. The mothers (often single parents) are given the opportunity to relax and talk about any issues with trained, experienced parents and learn how to enjoy spending time with their children.

    IMO many of the problems in our society stem from the breakdown in family values. It’s a huge problem which I would like to see the politicians try to address by supporting parents and groups who try to help them.

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  • Unfortunately we have had too many left wing Governments in this country over the decades and they are ruining everything that was once great about the country.

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  • Larry Pickleman says:

    Breakdown in family values, AND breakdown in community culture due to families having to move around to get affordable housing! I used to work in the youth service in Belfast until about 17 years ago when I was sacked by the boss primarily because I didn’t share his pitifully detached Christian dogma…

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  • Never mind!

    A few more buy to lets with 6 month assured shorthold tenure should help in arresting family breakdown!

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  • @denzil, Yes it would require an increase in public spending, savings would presumably have to be found elsewhere. If we assume that it would reduce crime and violent crime in particular, then the money could be skimmed from the youth offending system, from the prisons, and from the health service. The government could economise by only launching kids clubs in deprived areas. It wouldn’t be fair on other areas, but at least it would be the most efficient use of scarce resources.

    Most existing youth clubs are run entirely by volunteers on a shoestring budget, and a large part of the problem is finding suitable premises in the first place. (This is the tenuous housing link.) It might be best for the government to take a low-key approach, just supplying voluntary organisations with basics such as a meeting space, then leaving them to get on with it.

    I wouldn’t expect Brown to do any of these things. If Labour ran a kids club, there would be targets and an army of bureaucrats to measure each target. There would be ten admin staff for every actual youth worker. The volunteers would be too busy filling out forms. That’s why it would have to remain hands-off, independent, volunteer-led (or semi-professional at most), and cheap. If they invited the occasional guest speaker from the fire brigade or the ambulance service, it may just reduce the number of attacks.

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  • @alan, Too true. The government should look into cutting the red tape surrounding such ventures. I don’t know what can be done about the culture of sueing voluntary organisations and assaulting youth workers. Any thoughts? Heavier penalties for assault?

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  • Drewster,

    Special protection for London Ambulance Service happened as recently as 2005, about the time that stab vests were made generally available. I worked on the IT side of the 999 service at that time.

    One of LAS’s problems was that 70% of overall cases were drink related (and still are). The Dept of Health offered to financially assist the introduction of recording of ethnic and religeous monitoring (top priority), but many of the staff weren’t very co-operative. Their view was that it didn’t matter if the “customer” was a Belgian jew or an Irish mormon most of them had arrived in the back of an ambulance because they went on an extended binge drink.

    Shall I include a note of beaten babies or stabbed parents who tried to calm down the drunks?…how long do you have to read this?

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  • Slight tangent but I get so tired of watching shows on TV where town centre drunks cause mayhem, often ending up with someone being assaulted, someone hospitalised, someone arrested etc. Said drunk then goes to court and gets fined £50. Considering how much money it costs to police these people as well as the cost of medical care for their victims, fines should reflect the truer costs of these situations. If the drunkard ended up having to pay a minimum of £1000 everytime he decides to get a little silly he might think about it a bit more and there would be more money coming into the system to pay for the policing and medical care. At the moment I bet a lot of these people just see £50 (fine) as a slightly more expensive night out than normal.

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  • Safe As A Crash says:

    military school or 1 year national service will do the trick… not too long and the UK will become like South Africa… 23,000 murders a year… likely…

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