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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Do Not Feed The Animals

I deal with a lot of anti social behaviour as part of my job. There are things I have learned that I feel are worth sharing. Specifically, I think there are some important rules to consider. First, I completely understand the urge most men feel when the local hooded morons pitch up and start giving it large. Whether they are kicking on your door, emptying your bins, or being verbally abusive, it is gut instinct to go out and engage them. I mean let’s face it; these Muppets tend to arrive en masse and wouldn’t be behaving as they do if they didn’t have an audience to play to. But herein is the gamble you take should you choose to respond alone. Aside from putting yourself at risk of harm, which usually isn’t worth it, what you will almost certainly achieve is to put an invisible red cross upon your door announcing to every local miscreant that you are a fantastically interesting target. What I mean to say is that these guys are more likely to descend upon you again because of the entertainment value you provided last time out. Let’s change the camera angle, and see how events play out through the eyes of the offender. Emerging from a house is an angry, very wound up human being with nostrils flaring and ready to rage. It makes for stupendous viewing, doesn’t it? And why have they come outside? Because of something you have done to them. Is this sinking in when seen from the other perspective? As the victim, what you do is provide the perfect evening’s entertainment for the group before you. What a result. You’ve lost control; you are probably shouting and swearing. In short, you’ve made everything the youths have done worthwhile. And trust me, once they get a sniff they’ll be back. Pack animals return to feed again, and they will go where pickings are rich. So by trying to resolve the matter yourself all you do is complicate it. You make it worse. Your entire ego and all your anger and all your pride have simply fanned the flames further. I am absolutely certain of this because I deal with it daily. So as hard as this may sound, and as emasculating as it may cause you to feel, this is when your brain needs to do the heavy lifting. Stay in your home; give nothing for your respective audience to feed off. And call the police. Perhaps you think they can do nothing, and perhaps there is no magic wand. That’s another discussion for another day, but this much I know. If you engage these gangs, you make the problem even greater, even more personal, and worse still you cease acting as a rational agent. And finally I want to say a word about courage. It isn’t always about being gung ho and all kicky punchy. It’s about making tough choices under tough conditions, and often keeping a very cool head when every ounce of you wants to lose it. Giving in to the latter is not courage. It’s stupidity. It’s you not thinking clearly, deeply, correctly. So if you have had, or are struggling with local anti social behaviour, you need to understand two very critical things. One, you will not resolve it by yourself. And two, if you try, you may just create a monster that you played an inadvertent part in making.

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