Blaming the victim

Plenty of pushback on anyone questioning why Sarah Everard was walking home, at night. Quite right too, women have every right to walk where and when they chose, end of.

So why is the first response of so many to a stolen bike, was it locked up etc? What has that got to do with some scrote stealing your property? Why do people put the blame on to the victim of the crime rather than the bike thief?


The parallels are more than that… The police advice has been to lock up bikes, just like the advice to women has often been to not be out at night or not to walk alone. Bit of an absolution of responsibility but perhaps not unexpected given budget cuts.

I think people like to come across as smarter, i.e. my bike wouldn’t have been stolen because I take care to have 23 almaxes with me at all times.

It’s an easier solution to a crime rather to try and work out the fundamental root causes of with why crime happens, and then try and solve then which needs time and money (i.e. taxes)

But much of this is very much driven by a ‘me Vs you’ mentality and in my opinion has been driven across all facets of society via a variety of conservative governments. They’ve got us to fight each other rather than blaming the people driving all of this, and with the power to do anything. Just look at debates around benefits, NHS eligibility, recycling for climate change etc.

Personal responsibility only goes so far though…


I’d like to think I’m on the decent side of the male spectrum, I like to think I’m compassionate and would intervene if I saw a woman being harassed in the street.

That being said:

Should women be allowed to walk alone at night in perfect safety? Absolutely, no question.

Should I be able to leave my front door open with being burgled? Yes

Should I be able to leave my car unlocked and not have it stolen? Yes

Can I do either of those things? No, unfortunately the reality of life is that I can’t.

The truth of the matter is that a lot of these utopia type societies that people wish we lived in are incompatible with human nature. There are always going to be arseholes, there are always going to be pricks who want what others have got without working for them, there are always going to people who think they are entitled to have which ever woman takes their fancy. And yes it’s very wrong that there are people with that mentality. But do I think we can eradicate it? Unlikely.

My mum is a 61yr old secondary school teacher who has recently had an official complaint against her from a teacher after she said to one of the 14yr olds in her class that if she wears skimpy tops with push up bras and short skirts then chances are men are going to look at her.

I have 4 separate security items fitted to my Land Rover to try and lower the risk of it getting nicked because that’s what the police are advising Defender owners to do because “they’re very stealable”. After my bike was stolen off my drive, not only did it take 3 days for PC Plod to actually bother to come round, but one of the first questions was “did you have a chain on it?”. As it happens I hadn’t, and I could almost hear said officer’s eyes rolling.

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Ok to clarify, I do agree that utopic sentiments can be a bit snowflakey. There is nothing wrong with common sense advice to survive the current world we live in.

The issue being when this advice is used after a crime as a ‘Well you did that / didn’t do that, so what do you expect?’

I also remember walking in certain areas with keys in knuckles, although in my case it was for not being mugged rather than anything more serious. Not sure how good the advice is as you have to always think, if I go through with it, will I get done for assault with offensive weapon etc?

There are a few policemen, retired and active, here on the forum. They can probably answer this better than me but if you follow the Secret Barrister on twitter he/she reveals the extent of the Tory under-funding in the criminal justice system.

After Sarah’s murder he/she did a thread about a sexual assault case he/she is trying to prosecute. The offence happened in 2016, it took the police a year to take statements, it took another year to have the mobile devices of those involved examined by the accredited laboratory. This was needed for the SMS evidence. More delays. It took another year for the CPS to take it forward. Then the pandemic struck. They are now talking about a trail date some time in 2022. He/she knows that victim will stand up in court, six or seven years after the offence, and their memory of events will be ripped apart by the defence. There is no hope of justice for this victim. This is just one case. The police and the CPS are snowed under with this.

It’s horrible to say it but I can understand why they don’t come around to deal with our stolen bikes. It is all down to Tory cuts.


Yeah apologies, didn’t mean it as a dig at the police and I do understand the underfunding. And to be fair when we were burgled about 3 months before the bike was taken they were almost straight round.

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Yep the Court and Tribunal Service is grinding to a halt. BBC Radio 4 program File on 4 covered this a while ago:

People are pleading guilty just to get out of prison, because they will have servee more time on remand that they would have received as a sentence.

I have a claim in with the Tribunal service, and the first hearing will be more than a year after, and that is only to decide if it will go a head. I can expect the actual tribunal to be later this year or next.

I have a friend who was called up for Jury Duty late last year in Essex. When he got there he was shocked as they were only operating a single court. He found out the reason was lack of funds.

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So sounds like funding is a huge issue ref the justice system. I read the secret barrister twitter guy - and he spelled it out big time.

So if we are unhappy with the funding of our police, our courts, the CPS - why the fck isn’t this a far bigger issue?

When I had a scooter knicked - in Shepherd’s Bush about 10 years ago, I found it (on the White City) and called the plod who were disinterested in investigating / finger printing it etc. They got an easy cleared up crime (Bike recovered) and that was that.

I don’t for a minute think this disinterest was down to anything other than they are under resourced. And am sure it’s got a fck sight worse in the mean time.

This is not about police pay or retention - it is about the numbers of police doing what we once considered police work.

Any forum plod/ex plod got an opinion?


The problem is that it’s not seen as an issue until you are in the system, either from a professional capacity or from victim / perpetrator / witness capacity. What does Joe Bloggs who has nothing to do with the system know about it? Or even given general disinterest in anything much beyond kickball and celebrities care?

I know that the system is on it’s knees and that’s thanks to 10 years of unnecessarily cuts. Sitting days are down, judges are paid naff all and most are nearing retirement with little in the pipeline to take their places.

Imagine the horror of being accused of a crime that you did not commit and were found not guilty, but took 4 years to get to trial. How badly would that screw up your life?


I’ve been victim to thefts and burglaries countless times - one such occasion the thieves were caught by the Police red handed with my equipment 10 mins after the theft, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. The criminals were known to the Police, DNA was used to identify one who absconded yet no prosecution took place. I was told that the CPS chose not to prosecute due to an unknown outcome in court!

Limited resources has seen to it that easy cases are just dropped and the criminals know they will get away with it. Where is the deterrent?

The problem as I see it is greater than the funding of the Police and courts system, it’s what to do with those who are found guilty? As a liberal society we are not in favour of increased prison populations and other means of deterrence.

Is it a case of we get what we deserve…or we get what we put up with?


Not true… England send the most people to prison compared to most in Western Europe

The US has the highest imprisonment rate in the world. Hardly a beacon of low crime…

Prison does not result in lower crime

What other means of deterrence should we use that we don’t already? We want better Policing, more court time, presumably more convictions but we don’t want more inmates. What should we do to convince folk that the BMW they know they deserve is on it’s way?

Investment to prevent crime rather than punish it.

Can be anything from better social care, programmes stay in school, better support for the poor.

Honest answer is I don’t really know. But at the moment the approach is to act after crime rather than before. It needs a long term strategy that won’t pay off at first. But ultimately will result in much higher taxes.

There are countries doing it and it works, but we seem to be enamoured with individualism and the American approach to society (or rather the American approach to dissolve society)


We already have the second largest prison population per capita in Europe, only Hungary is worse.

We also have one of the worst reoffending rate in Europe.

Either we just acknowledge our DNA predisposes us to being more law-breaking than elsewhere (I doubt), or our prison system isn’t working.

As part of the criminal justice system, it too has been mercilessly starved of funds, and part privatised. At some point we will have to invest in sorting this out. The status quo can not continue.

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We need to get Universities involved, and do some research. Evidence based sentencing to determine how to reduce the reoffending rates, and research in how to better reduce crime.

Alas the Universities have been starved of funding as well.

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I think London is Disneyland for criminals, come and enjoy. I also think London is a magnet for international crime tourism as well, little chance of being caught and rich pickings.

I realise I’m on dodgy ground here but I do think that failed multiculturalism has allowed the ‘other’ to exist and the other isn’t one of ‘us’ so it’s easy commit crime against them as we don’t care about them, they don’t matter. Criminals have always existed but a cohesive society surely makes caring about your neighbour more important. Shared national endeavour and a reasonable split of the proceeds giving everyone a stake…I would imagine to help…don’t know how to do it though.

No such thing as a national endeavour. Even during the Blitz the black market and looting was rife.

I think it’s a falacy that gets peddled as an easy solution. Blaming the ‘others’ allows you to avoid looking too hard at yourself.

No such thing as a cohesive society really that is built on capitalism and beating the other person.

The honest truth is it’s probably a multifaceted problem. I’m not going to sit here and say entire communities living segregated from the rest of the population is a good thing. But I wouldn’t go as far as to say that multiculturalism is bad or makes for a less cohesive society… After all so many other countries have managed it.

A lack of socialism in favour of capitalism on the other hand can reek havoc on a society’s cohesiveness. And no I don’t dream of communism.

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Rehabilitation is critical in breaking the cycle of offending. British prisons, send someone in for something fairly minor and the inmate learns mainly how to be a better criminal. Many prisoners have learnt no useful skills whilst incarcerated and as a result return to offending as they need to feed themselves.

Just look at Denmark for how to move away from this and significantly reduce re offending rates, undertaking learning and skills development work. Having functional drug treatment programmes. We could also do with reexamining the War on Drugs. The only winner in that war is organised crime who make a lot of money from it. Why should you not send an alcoholic to prison, rather than a heroin addict? Both are substance dependant, both have underlying health issues that have driven the addiction. The only difference is the choice of substance. The heroin is also less damaging and cheaper, It’s the criminal element of cutting it and profit motives that change that.


Very good point.

Today I was just reading that it’s this lack of rehabilitation that has meant those on Indefinite terms are still in prison with no end in sight… Because they can’t prove they’ve rehabilitated.

They were a stupid idea at the time, the fact there are still nearly 2k people in jail because of these sentences is shocking.

Of course those never caught or prosecuted don’t ever receive rehabilitation.

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