Breaking the Stereo-Type

When we think about gun and knife crime in the UK, people automatically stereo-type it as gang killings, drug related incidents, all relative to our youth. Most imagine hoodies, black skin, broken homes and inner city mentalities. Over time, I have learned that these stereo-types belong to middle working class minds or people who think media influence is akin to religion – all truthful and worship-worthy.

And yes, my own stereo-typing is intentional here…for isnt that what every individual does? Isn’t it true that we like to judge others, place them in little decorated mind boxes and please ourselves in finding comfort in our assumptions?

Two men in their 40’s were stabbed to death in Birmingham yesterday, on busy streets full of shoppers at 17:50 GMT. A man was arrested minutes after the stabbings, but police are appealing for witnesses…there are potentially 100’s of witnesses.

These killings don’t fit the stereotype, yet it doesn’t make them any less real. When things don’t fit our stereo-typical expectations, we tend to turn a blind eye because we aren’t comfortable with what we perceive to be “different from the norm”.

If you were in Birmingham last night and you saw anything at all, however insignificant you deem it to be…come forward, speak up and contact West Midlands Police…these senseless killings won’t stop until we, as a nation, say “enough is enough”, stand together and raise our voice.

http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/contact-us/reporting-crime/

2 Replies to “Breaking the Stereo-Type”

  1. We have something called “Crime Stoppers” which takes crime tips anonymously and even gives rewards if information leads to an arrest. Keeping eyewitnesses anonymous seems to solicit more responses from the public here. I hope for the sake of the victim people get over their stereotypes and come forward.

    1. We have Crimestoppers here too and also a regular TV Program called Crimewatch that reports on and re-enacts crimes in the hope that it’ll jog the public’s memory. They also offer a monetary award for all information given that leads to an arrest. Crimewatch has often proven useful over the years, although I’m not sure how effective Crimestoppers is. In the UK, you get branded a “grass” if people find out that you’ve reported them to the law and the consequences of that are a whole different story. I’ve been burgled twice in 2 separate houses and both times, I reported the crimes and the perpetrators to the police…on both occasions, the people in the neighbourhoods have driven me and my children out of our homes. The first time it was out of my marital home and the burglary was the icing on the cake after 2 whole years of constant harassment. Their reasoning was that I didn’t have a man to defend me and thus, I was an easy target. On the 2nd occasion, I’d trusted a neighbour with my keys so she could keep my house safe whilst I was away on holiday…her children stole the keys and then left windows open so the whole neighbourhood could help themselves to our belongings. It’s a mentality I’d never like to understand…yet in order to forgive those people for what they did, understanding is essential. 2 years on from the last burglary and me and the kids still feel violated. Murder is a whole other level…if the Police can promise to keep the identities anonymous of the people who tip them off and then put something in place to protect them in the aftermath, should needs must, then I think people would be willing to step forwards and tell the police what they saw.