Social Decay – What have you done about it?

Inspector Gadget
Image via Wikipedia

The Home Secretary has decided it’s time for a crack down after the recent HMIC report where Sir Denis O’Connor said; the ‘disease’ of anti-social behaviour had been allowed to blight Britain. He also highlighted how the police have staged a “30-year retreat from the streets.” Mrs May has also suggested we get rid of the term ‘anti-social behaviour’ and it should be called what it is – ‘crime and disorder’. 

The term ASB always gave the impression of silly little boys and girls engaged in horse-play which, as anyone who has suffered from it will tell you, couldn’t be further from the truth. It is a crime! So ASB is now C&D which makes more sense however, it worries me the acronym “C&D” used to be applicable to police ‘Complaints & Discipline’ departments. Given that the police service is often lambasted by politicians, the media and consequently the public as the scapegoat for ASB  failures, could there be any correlation behind the renaming? 

Inspector Gadget paints a dire and miserable picture of life in the UK today, where some areas are simply “concrete wastelands too terrible to describe”. 

Police Inspector Blog: …If ministers want to start asking awkward questions about why ASB hasn’t gone away in Ruraltown, they should ask this; how many times have the most prolific offenders been arrested by police in the past? how many times have they been convicted in court and what was the penalty? If it was a community sentence, did they complete it? If not, what happened next? Were any fines paid? If not, what happened? Why are offenders with a history of breaching community sentences given further community sentences? I can tell you the answers to all of these questions, and you won’t like the answers. (Read full post

I am one of the first to decry the ‘skiprat hoodies’ in our society not being policed however; continually (and almost exclusively) blaming the police for ASB C&D failure simply equates to, bemoaning the fact a sticking plaster can’t stem the blood flow from your amputated leg. The police are only one part of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). 

Not a single burglar received the maximum jail term out of 10,000 who were convicted and sent to prison over a 12-month period, according to new figures. The Ministry of Justice has also disclosed that only two out of 5,000 robbers, four out of 6,000 fraudsters and a tiny proportion of sex offenders were given the maximum penalties available to judges and magistrates. (

So we have the government blaming the police for not taking action, we have the police complaining the CJS (and the Govt./Society) doesn’t support them in their actions, we have the public moaning about all three elements. A public that has decided to abdicate their responsibility in the mix of our social rot. 

It is insufficient to continually castigate others until we have actually looked deeply into our own failings and are happy about what we see. Can you hold your hand on your heart and say, you haven’t been guilty of self-interest, self-indulgence and self-importance? Can you say that you have always instilled boundaries of acceptable behaviour in your children? Can you say that you haven’t acquiesced to the years of social liberalism? What have you done today to make you feel proud? 

At the end of the day, our broken society is our doing. 


2 thoughts on “Social Decay – What have you done about it?

  1. This is particularly well said MrG.. Clearly, in the few lines we can churn out in a blog, we can hardly bottom such complex problems. I thought academe had at least some of the answers until I taught and researched in it for 20 years and came up almost dry – not really down to ‘social liberalism’ but idleness, jobsworthyism and so on. I know the same attitudes pervade a lot of policing too, but the police are too easy to blame – in a sense they end up having to pick up the ball and run with it once it’s burst.
    I’m working on quite a big project to try to find something sensible to say that isn’t tame. As in much work I did abroad, the key problem is “face” – it is almost impossible to expose the truth without breaking this dreadful kitsch that causes most of the problems. In each society, it is almost impossible to point out what is wrong because the ‘wrong’ is strangely cherished.

    One of the things I always notice about ASBers and evil poor criminals is how chidlish they are. They are all stuck in some dreadful adolescent mindset, and they are being dealt with according to sets of controls that stop only people like us, not them. The serving cops are right about the punishments-treatments they get being more or less hopeless and even counter-productive, and you are right we are ‘all guilty’ in some way in allowing the ‘collapse’.
    The extent of the collapse is not understood – we have all been ‘stealing’ economically both through exploitation of cheap labour and our own children’s futures (pensions that have not remotely been paid for, inflated property prices). And we have dumped the ASB problems on those least able to cope with them.

    My tentative view now is that people who make livings (often highly inflated ones) in the CJS are more to blame than we know and usually much less public-spirited than they claim – but even to blame this is a mile away from where it all starts.
    And even thinking about it while we expose victims to these vile crooks (I’ve found increasing ‘Faganism’ in them using decent kids to front their schemes) seems wrong. We should have a heavier hand available. As Gadget says, it’s tied behind his back.


    1. If the day arives where society is able to truely think on a social as opposed to individualistic footing, and when people have more interest in helping others than helping themself, perhaps we will be on the road to repair. Sadly, I don’t expect the social wheel will turn full circle again in my lifetime, always assuming the wheel wasn’t square in the first place?


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