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Police 'did nothing' after young teacher was hit in face

There appears to be a lot of anecdotal evidence these days that our police are increasingly reluctant to tackle crime. Whether this is a resource problem, a reluctance to fill in forms, apathy because they know that the courts will often put criminals straight back onto the streets, or orders from on high to manipulate crime statistics I cannot say.

I’m sure many of us have a friend or a family member who can tell similar stories to the one below that appeared in today’s press. We certainly seem to be getting more reports like this in the media than we did in the past.

(link) A primary school teacher punched in the face by a drunken thug was stunned when police refused to arrest her attacker.

Abby Houston, 25, was left with a black eye and possible fractured cheekbone after being caught up in a violent brawl at a carnival.

She was at a tombola stall with three eight-year-old girls she was minding when the fight broke out behind them. As she tried to shepherd the children to safety, one of the men struck her in the face with a vicious blow apparently aimed at someone else.

Abby was struck just under her right eye and suffered a huge swelling on her face. Hospital x-rays suggested she has a fractured cheekbone, but the area is too sore at the moment to tell properly.

Moments after the fight at the Pewsey Carnival, in Wiltshire, Abby found two police officers who were standing nearby and demanded they arrest the thug who assaulted her.

But the officers initially ignored her pleas before walking away and refusing to take action. After Abby told one of the officers that the man who did it had run off, he walked away saying: "There’s nothing I can do".

Disgusted by the attitude of the police, Abby started to go home, but when she spotted the thug, she pointed him out to other officers. Despite this, they refused to arrest him and when Abby’s friend protested at their lack of action, one officer threatened to take him in instead.

Abby, who lives in Dulwich, London, said: "I told the police ‘that’s the guy who hit me’ and the policeman went over and spoke to the boy, but didn’t arrest him – he just took his details.

"I said I was positively identifying him then and there and I wanted him arrested.
"But the officer said he wasn’t going to arrest him because there was too much going on.

Last year my wife and I were threatened by a smack head in the street, who was high on drugs and brandishing a hammer and a screw driver. I was very relieved to see a police patrol car stop near the scene, and even more relieved to see the drug addict run over to the police car and start threatening them instead of us, giving us the chance to retreat from the situation. However, when I looked back from a safe distance I was shocked to see that the two police officers were still sat in their car apparently ignoring the tirade of abuse being hurled at them. I was even more shocked when they just drove off leaving the still raging thug stood on the pavement.

So the next time that Tony Blair or some other government minister announces that crime figures are down, or the next time that a prison reformer demands to know why we have so many criminals in our jails when crime is falling, remember this. A particular crime statistic may suggest a falling trend, but one should not assume that this means there is less crime. It could just as easily reflect a lack of interest on the part of the authorities, and a resulting reluctance on the part of the victims to bother reporting crimes committed against them.

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