I say,” Yes, they should!” Why do innocent victims have less ‘human rights’ than those who commit crimes? I remember when you could walk safely in the darkest of places and even if a shadowy figure emerged from the darkness, you didn’t feel any fear. That was in the good old days when Carmarthenshire had a long spell of no murders for years, when violence was a scuffle outside the pub or club, usually at closing time. This was more often than not sorted out by the respective mums, wives or girlfriends before anything serious occurred. And if Constable Evans was seen on patrol at 10 o’clock at night, on his own, unarmed, everyone would dive for cover or just stand perfectly still until he had gone by. A barely audible, “Everything alright, is it?” would bring silent nods all round and on his way he would go.
That seems to be a story from a different planet! Somebody seems to be killed every day now a days. What on earth has gone so tragically wrong? Well I have a theory about actions and consequences. I used to teach science and especially physics for many years. I always thought I was lucky to do so, rather than teaching ‘desk bound’ subjects like maths or English. Both of which I have also taught, by the way. But in the science lab., I felt I had an inbuilt sanction that worked well, since the majority of pupils wanted to be doing things rather than just writing. They enjoyed the relative freedom of experiments. If there was any silliness, I would say something like, “If you can’t behave yourselves while writing or listening, then it’s far too dangerous to allow you to try experiments.” But the clincher was this, “You know the score, if you choose to be disobedient, then you have chosen not to do experiments. It’s your choice.” A perfect example of actions and consequences.
Now, of course, it had to be followed through, otherwise there would be absolutely no discipline what so ever! But if it was followed through with a new class, and there was some times a little trouble at the beginning of the school year, especially at the beginning of my teaching career, then discipline could safely be left to the members of the class who wanted to do experiments! After a while, word of mouth ensured that I had very little trouble in or out of the classroom. It’s a bit like Saudi Arabia. Not many thieves there. Why? Well they chop off your hand. Rather a drastic sanction, I’ll admit, but you can’t say it doesn’t work. These days, sanctions are really down to strength of character, because if the truth be told, there are very few real sanctions available, whether it’s in the classroom or on the street. There is no fear of retribution. Something I feel is all wrong.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not an advocate of bringing back hanging or the birch or anything like that! No, there are more humane sanctions that can be used. Detention for short periods so that a desired activity cannot be enjoyed, for example. “But, what about his/her ‘human rights’?” I can hear. What about them? If it were made clear from the outset that if a certain set of rules were not adhered to, then certain, defined sanctions would be applied, how can anyone’s human rights be abused? The offender has chosen to carry out certain anti-social actions and has therefore chosen to put up with the consequences, i.e. a certain punishment. There cannot possibly be any abuse of a person’s human rights in that case. If, for instance, it was decided and made clear and part of the ‘Law of the Land’, that if anyone enters a building uninvited, for whatever reason, then they have chosen to give up their ‘human rights’ in that situation, the incidences of breaking and entering would surely fall fairly quickly.
Once the idea that they do not have any ‘human rights’ in those circumstances and whatever happens to them, they have no recourse to ‘human rights’ legislation, then surely they would think twice before breaking and entering? Why is it that the ‘human rights’ of criminals is paramount? It should not be. Silly ‘do-gooders’ who plead that criminals should not be victimised because they ‘had a hard upbringing’, ‘did not have this or that when they were young’ or whatever excuse is trotted out, should start thinking about the law abiding people who have had equally deprived upbringings, but don’t take it out on the rest of society. Yes, we have laws in this country and we have sanctions, but there doesn’t seem to be any consistency. What are we about as a country when a poor pensioner gets put in prisoner for not paying an outrageous Council Tax, while a person who causes grievous bodily harm gets away with a caution? Police should be out on the streets for at least 90% of the time they are on duty. There should be zero tolerance and clear sanctions, fully implemented.
“Oh, it will never work,” people cry. Not immediately, no doubt, but if the rules are applied, without fail, no excuses or special circumstances taken into account, then in a very short time law and order would be restored. It’s about time the ‘human rights’ of the law-abiding citizen were taken into account and the ‘law’ of actions and consequences was rewritten in favour of the victims of crime rather than the perpetrators. Thanks for reading, and may the unforeseen consequence of my action in writing this article be an improvement in society!