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Vigilante action - standing up and taking action; what do you think?

(14 Posts)
handlemecarefully Mon 20-Aug-07 17:27:51

I thought this article from Jeremy Vine was quite interesting.

I think I would behave as follows:

*see some miscreants vandalising / shoplifting etc - wouldn't personally intervene but would report it

*see someone being attacked by an aggressor - if with my children I would hurry away and report it, but if not with my children would wade in feet first (I think that's because I am impetuous and fiery and actually I don't necessarily condone this as the most prudent course of action - could well end up very badly). Fortunately I live in a genteel rural location where serious crime is the theft of ride on lawn tractors from peoples garages.

What would you do?

Incidentally read the comments below the article - particularly the one from Noel in Norfolk . Apparently the whole sequence of events was the young woman's fault for not being sufficiently civil to the lout and his 'friendly' overture

handlemecarefully Mon 20-Aug-07 17:33:00

Well I thought it was quite interesting!

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 20-Aug-07 17:43:44

Yeah I was at Noel from Norfolk.

I don't think what's described there is 'vigilante action', though - that, to me, suggests gangs of people getting together to dole out punishment, not a group of bystanders intervening to rescue someone.

alipiggie Mon 20-Aug-07 17:48:17

Shall read the article later, but too be honest too many people walk away and don't report things these days do they. Too scared most of the time. When childfree I've gone and said things to people about littering, being rude, pushing, shoving generally dis-respectful attitudes. If I saw someone being attacked, would probably yell very loudly whilst dialling 911 to be honest.

Ripeberry Mon 20-Aug-07 18:06:16

I've had to do that today! Was on my way to visit my friend this afternoon with my two DDs and when i pulled into the cull-de-sac there was a little boy crying on the pavement
so i started to pull over to help as i just noticed that he was TOTALLY TRUSSED UP LIKE A CHICKEN WITH BLACK WIRE TIES!!!
He could not have been more than 8yrs old.
His arms were pulled right back and had about 5 ties on them and his legs were the same.
Got out of the car, wondering how on earth to get them off, when a gang of older kids came out of the house shouting and screaming at me to "leave him alone".
Sorry, but i had my DDs with me so was not going to have an argument.
Luckily the cull-de-sac is quite large so i was able to get away and out of sight.
Told my friend about it and then we called the police but they basically said that they would send someone round when they had someone free!
I mean, why was he tied up like that?? The police must think its some kid prank. I just think it is sick!
And there were loads of other people around and no-one stopped to help him.
I feel very strongly about kids who think they can rule over adults with bad behaviour.
I'm the type of person that if someone throws something at my car whilst i'm driving and its safe for me to stop, i'll get out and give them a telling off.
But now i'm a mum i just can't do that whilst i've got kids in tow.
Its just a feeling of "How dare they" and the fact that we as adults have no rights over children and they know it.

Ripeberry Mon 20-Aug-07 18:09:44

Oh and i have to add, this was after i had to dodge a volley of crab apples thrown by 10 yobs on another part of the estate.
Lots of cars were getting hit but no-one stopped and people on the cycle path just pretended they were not there.
And the government says that the country is not under Yob rule.
I really despair of this country, i really do.

ELR Mon 20-Aug-07 18:19:35

on sat tea time my dad was in his car when he saw a body lying in the road he stopped his car and got out, as he lent down to help or see if bloke was ok he jumped up and basically tried to kick the living daylights out of my dad, he ran back to his car and the bloke followed then kicked my dads car doing loads of damage.
My dad called the police they came with flashing lights ect but the bloke ran away my dad had a good beating and so did his car.
Thats what you get for helping

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Mon 20-Aug-07 20:29:35

Typical response from the police I'm afraid, Ripeberry.

If even the police aren't interested in what is obviously a criminal act, it's hardly unsurprising that the rest of society aren't.

Ripeberry Mon 20-Aug-07 20:59:17

But it should not be like this. What if it was your mum or another relative being taunted/hurt by thugs.
Knowing that they were all alone, surrounded by other supposed Human Beigns.
My Dad has come accross a gang that wanted to do him harm a few months ago, they had a big stick and were swinging it at him saying they were going to mess his head up.
He just calmly reached into his pocket and pulled out his trusty telescopic metal cosh which extends to 3 feet long and just said
"come on then " they soon scarpered.
Sometimes i do fear for him, but he can usually hold his own, but he is getting old, will be 60yrs old this year, but he does insist on taking the dog for a walk at 3am!

WideWebWitch Mon 20-Aug-07 21:10:53

I like to think I'd intervene but you don't know until you're faced with it I suppose. Was on a tube with my mum a few years ago and she was v cross with some boys who were messing about with fire extinguishers and she berated them and they stopped. But they could have just as easily decided to kick her head in.

WideWebWitch Mon 20-Aug-07 21:12:34

I don't think standing up for people who are being beaten up is 'vigilante' action though. and I do think it's a shame we don't feel more collective responsbililty. I can well believe that apparently you get more of a reaction by shouting 'FIRE' than 'RAPE'

expatinscotland Mon 20-Aug-07 21:13:14

Vigiliantism isn't the same as standing up for someone who's being assaulted or attacked.

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Mon 20-Aug-07 21:15:39

I berated someone for smoking on the train a few years ago. He threatened me, told me I was racist, blah blah (he happened to be black) I had a go at him, etc.

Not one other person backed me up. Anyway, I stood my ground, told him he should be ashamed of himself playing the racism card when black people in this country suffer real racism every day, and he surprisingly backed down.

Then I called the other men on the train cowards. So then they started shouting at me and I said "oh, now you've found your courage. Now it's a woman under 5 ft you're having a fight with, not a six foot black man, you're all suddenly brave. What an impressive display of English manhood you are."

I think I must have been pre-menstrual. Or drunk.

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Mon 20-Aug-07 21:16:05

Absolutely right Expat.

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