Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sign of the times.

I was sitting in the local A and E recently waiting for a Saturday night warrior to decide if he wanted to make a formal complaint about the person who was requiring him to have a number of stitches placed in his forehead.
Whilst waiting for the doctor to finish I was chatting to one of the Security lads. I had pointed out that that there where a lot more of the 'There's a Thief about' type notices dotted about the place.
He said, without a trace of irony, that there were a lot more thieves operating in the hospital area. Feltham and the Scrubs were obviously offering Surgery along with the usual Painting and Decorating to enhance the life skills of the inmates.
I must admit there are a lot more of these notices about, not only in buildings but also on the Street attached to street furniture.

I am all for Crime prevention but where do you stop?
Realistically there are few if any areas where your average thief would consider sacrosanct.

Hospitals certainly aren't one of them. They are an ideal feeding ground for your thief.
The very nature of the place being that those who are wandering its corridors or sitting in crowded waiting areas are naturally preoccupied from the start, either for themselves or others.

Basic crime prevention is really about about making people more aware, hence the signs.
However we can all switch off and get distracted, that's human nature and your reasonably successful thief is usually good at picking their moments.

By rolling out this program of warning signs are we assisting people in avoiding being victims...?Or by becoming more commonplace will it desensitise people to the message.
Conversely could it lead to people being complacent. If there are no signs about will they assume they and their property are safe?

To take it one step further in this ever litigatious society will we reach a point where a victim sues those responsible for that public place?
'I didn't see any warning signs so I thought it was safe to leave my laptop covered by my leather jacket'

Time will tell..anyway chewing it over passed the time as I waited.

'Officer he's ready to be spoken to'.
I walk through. 'Whats the decision boss..Don't want to know?.. sign here...'


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