There’s a little old lady at the church I occasionally visit, and her name is Margaret O’Brien. Margaret is seventy years old,a devout heavily whiskered churchgoer, whose presence is thoroughly welcomed at St Margaret’s of the Decameron. Recently a not so nice young man called round at Margaret’s house, he left eventually, taking a telelvision, a DVD player, and Margaret’s pensions and savings books with him. His only parting gift to Margaret was a fractured eye socket and an overpowering sense of fear, that has left her unable to leave her home unaccompanied for months. The police officers investigating the offence were handsome, charming, and astute enough to ensure she ticked all the right boxes on the customer service form. They even made sure Victim Support gave her a call and sent her a supportive letter. What lovely young men! Thought Margaret as she cosied up to her TV with a lovely mug of hot chocolate.
She would have been less impressed with them had she known that they were fully aware of the nasty inclinations of the criminal who beat her up in her home. For he and his associates’ behaviour, had been a blossoming problem in the area for well nigh on eighteen months, and Margaret hadn’t been the first person he’d assaulted. His wife had rang the police on several occasions only to be fobbed off by a fresh faced female police officer with a sympathetic bent (in public). His mother had notified the police of his threats to kill her poodle and the poodle’s subsequent disappearance ( a tale that provoked much mirth down at the local police station). So you can imagine it did not take the police long to track down Margaret’s attacker and arrest him. After all, they had known where he was all along. Which brings me to my next point, a couple of months ago the mother and family of Mark Duggan held another march to mark the anniversary of his death, at the hands of police marksmen.
Were they right or were they wrong to shoot him? I can’t tell, though I can’t help thinking that had he been a Metropolitan Police ‘sponsored’ informant, he’d still be alive and kicking today. Take for example, the case of Jamaican ‘gangster’ Dempsey Denton, a man who having fled from the murder of several Jamaican women, was taken under the beneficent wing of the Metropolitan Police. Their protection mean’t that he was free to rob whom he liked, deal crack where he liked, and generally run amok in the Afro-Carribean community he’d ’embedded’ himself in.
I suppose that perhaps the officers ‘handling’ him assumed that those living around him were used to this type of behaviour. Well, eventually this ‘charmed existence’ culminated in him raping and then murdering 24-year-old trainee beautician Marcia Lawes by stabbing her 18 times after breaking into her Brixton residence. The police knew what he was and chose not to shoot him, instead they sponsored his depravities. So please, this evening, spare a thought for Mark Duggan, the mother of his four bereaved children and his mother.