Monday, 30 March 2009
A Snapshot of British Society? (Yorkshire Evening Post)
I would like to draw your attention to this front page article of the Yorkshire Evening Post. For any bloggers unfamiliar with the region, West Yorkshire is a largely metropolitan area in the North of England and includes the cities of Leeds, Bradford and their respective urban towns and suburbs. The area has a population of around 5 million people. The investigation into the July 7th terrorist bombings had a particular focus on this area. The article highlights the figures of knife and gun crime in the past 2 yrs, with nearly 500 people suffering a knife attack and 28 being stabbed to death. A further 280 people were shot, 4 of whom died and 50 classed as `seriously hurt`. Victims included schoolboys, fathers, grandmothers and police officers. It was, however, comforting to hear the police spokesman, Inspector Steve Emmett reassure us by saying that `compared with other areas we do not have a serious knife crime problem`. Phew! and thank goodness for that, but what a shame about those nasty `other areas` he declined to name. Stop Press: There was another fatal shooting in Bradford early this morning, with a second person seriously injured in the same `domestic` incident. It is a pure co-incidence that Leeds is also the home to The Royal Armouries, Britains National Museum of arms and armour, formally held at The Tower of London but moved to Leeds some years ago - a totally absorbing place and well worth a visit. The Armouries do a lot of work liaising with local groups working to reduce the gun and knife culture as well as displaying a simply amazing collection, with live interpretations of moments in history, Broadsword fighting displays and jousting in their outdoor Tiltyard. Handguns, pump action shotguns, automatic weapons and CS/OC/Mace sprays are prohibited weapons in the UK. We have, arguably, the toughest gun control laws in the world. By way of stark contrast, the most armed civilian population in the world, per capita, are in...no not the US, but in peaceful, combat-neutral Switzerland. Yodel-ay ee-deeee!! Funny old world, isn't it?