This ram-raiding madness has got to stop. And it’s going to take a collective effort to get us there.
It’s not a new problem but it’s definitely a worsening problem.
"Well, we are certainly aware of it right now. The last few weeks have seen them reported quite a lot". Poto Williams
Reported quite a lot?
"I can say for right now, there does seem to be a bit of a thing about ram raids".
There seems to be a bit of a thing. Good to see the Police Ministers all over the detail.
Anyway, looking at Police statistics, the best available data we have is to look at illegal use of a motor vehicle alongside theft of a motor vehicle - that encapsulates cars stolen for ram raids and joy rides.
That combined metric has gone up by 5972 victimisations in 2021 compared to 2019 - that’s the most comparable year cause covid. That gives us a total of 36,900 victims just last year from illegal use of a stolen vehicle.
In just the first two months of this year, there have already been 7300 victimisations. If we keep going at this rate we’ll be smashing records for ram-raiding and joyriding in stolen cars.
And that is not a goal, it is a disgrace, though I recognise that some young people who hear that might think it’s aspirational because I do fear the more we talk about it, put it on the news and play the shocking CCTV footage, the more some morons will think it’s choice to copy cat those crimes.
When I lived in London a few years ago, for nearly two years it felt like my camera operator and I were covering another terror attack every week, travelling all over Europe one horror to the next. Terrorists exploited weaknesses, copycats took inspiration and hundreds of people died.
Thankfully as far as I know we haven’t had any deaths as a result of these reckless raids but this is still a form of terrorism. It’s terrorising communities.
The way it stopped in the UK and Europe - and of course, it hasn’t completely but we’re definitely not seeing terrorism there in the way we were - the way it stopped was prevention, awareness and zero tolerance.
That’s the approach we need to take here.
Prevention - let’s get to these young people before they steal a car and drive it through a mall or shop window. Let’s make sure they have the services and support they need in their communities. The government should better fund and resource community youth organisations so they can reach as many at-risk young people as possible.
Awareness - some of the shopkeepers we’ve been hearing from have been ram raided multiple times dating back several years. We’re only really hearing about it now. Through awareness, pressure is applied to do something about it - be it better CCTV coverage, police presence, insurance, mental health support for staff and business owners, physical obstacles like bollards - and that prevention work.
Although I am concerned about how infectious ram-raiding feels right now, hot in the public glare, hiding away from the realities won’t help especially when there’s so much work to be done.
Awareness also means - like see it, say it, sorted in the UK for terrorism - we might spot things and reports things before they escalate.
And finally zero tolerance. Zero tolerance from Police, from prosecution, from justice, from consequences. I’m not advocating locking 11-year-olds up - and in doing so almost certainly cementing their young lives of crime into lifetime lives of crime - but we do need to be tougher on these kids. Police, the youth courts, parents, caregivers, schools, neighbours, friends.
It takes a village to raise a child and these kids need some serious village attention.