She’s only been in her own home for 6 months and fortunately for us, she hasn’t had to experience this before. The last time my house (desperately seeking wood to touch) was just before she was born. They took 2 cameras (one with an SD Card full of priceless photos that hadn’t yet been backed up and a Play Station. All the appliances had been unplugged from the walls and it seems that they were disturbed by a neighbour coming home before they could get the rest of their treasures.
My daughter’s first reaction was, “I don’t want to live here anymore” and I had to explain that it doesn’t matter where you live, you are always at risk. Her house alarm gets installed on Friday so hopefully after that she will be fine. But it reminds me of how I felt when we got burgled. Again not much was taken but it was the feeling of being violated that is the biggest concern. Your home is the place that you are always supposed to be safe in and when that safety is taken away, what do you have left?
The other question arises as to what can you do if you catch a burglar in action. I know what I would like to do and would probably do if the situation arose or the opportunity presents itself. Many of the burglars today are in their early to mid teens and the law has no teeth to discourage them. Half of them, especially if they have no prior’s will be dealt a swift slap on the wrist with a “Don’t do that again you naughty boy.” One school of thought is that the parents should be held responsible, but given the defense that usually comes up of poor children who had a tough time and little opportunities as they were growing up. Well I don’t buy that. New Zealand is a country where anyone that is prepared to get their hands dirty can get work and can get a roof over their heads. We have a social welfare system that provides for that, you don’t even have to have insurance. We have very high employment here and if you genuinely can’t get a job, there is always the dole.
Given the way these people were organised unplugging all the appliances and having them ready for a quick getaway, this was no impulse job, they had done this before.
So if you catch them and deal to them, you could end up being the one up on charges. Where’s the justice in that? If I catch one of these beggars before the police do, they might accidentally fall over and hurt themselves. Maybe I could write ‘THIEF’ on their forheads in permanent ink? What do you reckon?
Our penal system is great, they don’t do hard labour, they get good meals, can study, watch TV, play sport, make things in workshops and learn new skills, like how to steal more and not get caught as often. Over 50% of the crims are recidivists, some because they consider life inside preferably to outside.
There have been suggestions of sendig them to the army and putting them through bootcamp without the option of leaving. For some of the younger ones, this could save their lives and teach them some pride. This is one of the perrenial suggestions, but of course the army doesn’t want them.
I quite like the idea, especially for violent offenders where there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever of their guilt and their are no mitigating circumstances, of dropping them on an island, maybe like Pitcairn, and leaving them to live or die, with no way out. Alternatively, let them build new roads or do something else useful, why should taxpayers have to continue to be punished by paying out $250,000 a year to house them i comfort in our prisons.
OK, I’m getting off my soap box now. Elections are coming soon and law and order will again be a major platform, but will they finally listen? See the problem with elections is that it doesn’t really matter who you vote for, a politician will always get in.