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Are your neighbours murderers?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Thyiad, May 28, 2008.

  1. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Are your neighbours murderers?

    A slightly alarmist title but I think it's justified.

    Have a read about Khyra Ishaq and Victoria Climbié. Two young children who starved to death.

    Not as a result of displacement, war or famine; not even in a nation famed for those things or neglect. They died in the UK in this decade.

    If the article is too long for you to read here's a precis:
    • Victoria was sent to England from the Ivory Coast. The idea was her aunt would provide her with a better life. She was tortured and then murdered at eight years old. Her aunt believed she was possessed.
    • Khyra lived with her mother, her mothers' partner and various other children. At seven years old she died of starvation. Neighbours reported that the kids had eaten bread they'd thrown out for birds.

    Two extreme cases and according to a UK charity not unusual.

    Demographics have changed over the years, we are so often busy at work all day and come home to flop in front of the TV. I'm sure some areas so have more of a community spirit where neighbours are more involved with each other, but this seems a long way from most of our lifestyles.

    What constantly surprises me is the lack of social services' involvement in these cases. How can they not do a simple follow up? Over-work, too few trained staff, fear of the people they're supposed to investigate. Is this a result of cutbacks or an increase in child abuse - or an increase in the report of child abuse.

    While some of those reports might well be down to the nanny state - "Oh no little boy got a little smack on his butt for being naughty" - are we all turning into such uncaring bastards that we are oblivious to crimes like these?

    This isn't a debate about what is and is not abuse; I think we can all agree beating an eight year old with bicycle chains would count.

    So how well do you know your neighbours? The lady three doors down from me could be a raging alcoholic, my next door neighbour might be a child molester. Do you believe you'd spot something like a Khyra or Victoria next door to you?

    I'd like to say I'd notice, but in honesty I probably wouldn't. Providing the locale is quiet, I tend not to bother too much.
     
  2. WzWz

    WzWz IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    Dying over someone else's superstition is a damn shame.
     
  3. WildBerry

    WildBerry IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I wouldn't if it was done in the open. I am not very personal with the people on my door. I'd never know before it was too late.
     
  4. S Z

    S Z IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    Good question Thyiad. Similarly, I tend to know very little about most of my neighbours and really wouldn't twig if one of them upped and disappeared for a year. I must admit, I don't know if it is solely a problem in the UK, if you remember back only as far as a few weeks there was the case of Josef Fritzl who built a basement and fathered 7 children by his daughter, all supposedly without even his wife having a clue.

    Whether things are worse than they used to be is perhaps impossible to measure. Many people will assert that things are no worse than they used to be, it's just that reporting of these abuses in the national media has become more widespread. I'm not convinced by this line of argument, but I don't have the statistics to back up anything more than an anecdotal opinion so I'll just give you that: a sense of community, and all the advantages that brings, is on the decline.

    And there are other societal ills which may be an expression of this gradual breakdown in community IMO, including youth crime (esp. vandalism) antisocial behaviour and things as petty as disputes over the ownership of hedges. Unfortunately the tools to combat this breakdown have gradually been sold off (usually by Local Government in an effort to raise money) or eroded, whether they be community events (fairs, etc.), sports teams or everyone's children going to the same school together. The sorts of bonds these participatory activities build amongst are nearly impossible to create artificially and require an enormous amount of effort to re-build.

    I don't think there is an easy solution, nor perhaps any solution. Keeping these concerns in mind for future urban development has to be top priority though, and local residents have to push harder for the tools and facilities to reinvigorate community inclusion. Sitting idly by as more generations of disaffected youth grow up in communities which neither care about them nor provides them with the trappings of a healthy childhood is, to put it mildly, not the best of ideas.
     
  5. Rabbitz

    Rabbitz IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I know my direct neighbours, but mostly because I keep locking myself out and need to use their balconies to jump to mine.

    I dont think I would notice anything in my neighbourhood. In fact, an eldery women died just a few houses away from me and noone noticed untill the tax-man(not sure what this word is in English) came around to collect due taxes.
     
  6. Evrae Altana

    Evrae Altana IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I'm not very close with my neighbors here in the US. Every now and then, I see the guy living in the house in front of us walk his dog or something, and he would wave and say hi, but that's about the extent of our interaction. Every living room in my neighborhood is hidden behind a screen door and semi-closed blinds. I wouldn't be surprised if my next door neighbor died and nobody knew about it, at least for a few days.

    I experienced the opposite situation when I was living in Vietnam. There, practically every house had its doors wide open, and I could see families going about their business every time I walked past a house. Sometimes, it would be something pleasant like a family sitting down to eat dinner or enjoying some television. Other times, it's a father spanking his son for misbehaving. There's been instances where friends of friends saw me walking past their house, yelled out "Hey! Aren't you whatshisface's friend?" and invited me in for drinks.

    Maybe it's a cultural thing. Here in the US, we value privacy a lot more, so we don't intrude on our neighbors too much in fear of getting into their "space". There are hedges, fences, and walls that divides each house from the one next to it. In Vietnam, there is no such thing as privacy; people will stop by unannounced looking to chitchat. Street vendors will poke their head in your window asking you if you want to buy some flip flops. There are no fences or hedges; like it or not, your neighbors will be in your "space". :grin:
     
  7. Tanooki

    Tanooki IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    Our neighbor had a stroke back in February (she was 101 years old) and the guy across the street noticed her porch light was on longer than normal that evening. He let himself in (she was very hard of hearing) and found her on the floor. (The stroke was basically fatal - even if someone had been with her, she still would have died after a week in the hospital.)

    Our neighborhood's pretty dang safe.
     
  8. MixedVariety

    MixedVariety Banned

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I'd notice strange doings up to about a 5 or 6 neighbor radius on either side of my house. Most of us are fairly close on a regular basis; our kids play with each other, attend the same schools etc., us fellas tend to help each other out with projects while the gals hang out often with their little knick-knack parties and whatnot. There's a block party every summer where people wander in and out of each others' yards for food, drink and sex...cross that out, I mean company. Halloweentime, one of my neighbors hooks up a trailer to his tractor and gives hayrides to the kids, while my wife and a bunch of other mothers get some coffee, cookies, apple cider and etc. going out by the road.

    However, that's a pretty rare circumstance these days; most neighbors have little or nothing to do with each other from what I understand. I think if you show too much interest in your neighbors, you run the risk of being accused of stalking, spying or worse.
     
  9. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    My neighbour could be carving up hookers by the truckload but as long as he keeps the music down I won't stick my nose into his business.
     
  10. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    But if the communities aren't as ... cohesive as in previous generations, where does that leave the responsibility to ensure the safety of the vulnerable.

    The reality is there are people out there who need protection and whether under-staffing or chronic under-funding is to blame, it isn't done. Is this any different to 20 years ago? I think so because of the way neighbourhoods are less cohesive. More onus is put onto social services.

    Everyone wants lower taxes (including me)m everyone wants a better job and hanging out in dodgy areas with iffy abusive parents isn't my idea of fun, so another cut in the budget.
     
  11. SQUATMAN

    SQUATMAN IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I personally look out for my vunerable neighbors. i think one problem nowadays is that parents are afraid to discipline their children, resulting in no respect for the elderly peoples. Kids just don't care.

    My parents raised me better so I care for and respect my elders. I don't know if this is just a cycle, but my hopes are people start acting more like things were in the past.



     
  12. MrKaxe

    MrKaxe IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I'm with you dude on hoping that my generation will instill the same level of discipline into their children (I haven't got long left...*readies the pimp-hand) so that we don't have another slew of alcoholic, abusive little ****s who think they can mug people in the street for fun...
    It would help if our Gov. would not tell us we can't hit our own children when they push it too far...well, i'm not listening...my kids will be brought up how I was...emphasis on values, morals and how to behave in any situation and if you act up, you get asked nicely to stop, if you push it, the 'look', if you are dumb enough to continue... :angry::dizzy:



     
  13. TheNix

    TheNix IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    When I was a kid, the son of the next door neighbour got stoned and beat his girlfriend to death. Does that count? About ten tears ago I was living next door to a spinster in her eighties who was living alone. Her neighbour, on the other side, was a widow in his seventies and all three of us would often chat over the fence. On a day in summer the man knocked on my door and said the he hadn't seem her for a while. I broke into the house, an ability I learned from a misspent youth, and had a look around. The smell when I first entered was not promising. I walked around calling her name, but as I walked into her bedroom I saw a pair of legs sticking out from between her bed and the front wall of the house. I went to her and I saw that she was lying on her back, she had obviously soiled herself and her eyes her closed. I gently called her name and her eyes popped opened and her said in a clear voice "Yes," scaring the soil out of me. To cut a long story short, an ambulance was called and she was taken away and she lived quite happily and healthily for another three years. She had fallen between the bed and the wall and, even though she didn't break anything, she was unable to get up. She was there for three days in mid 30's (Celsius) heat without water. One tough old bird. She was lying there dying, not 3 metres from where I parked my car and I knew nothing. If not for the other neighbour, she'd have died. At the time I felt a mixture of pride and shame. It wasn't very comfortable.
     
  14. Sokar Rostau

    Sokar Rostau IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    There have been a number of cases in Australia over the last couple of years of elderly people dying and not being found for several months, in one case it was over a year before anyone noticed.

    Of my immediate neighbours, I would know two of them if I saw them in the street but that's about it. The guy that lives four houses up from me walks his dog every afternoon with the guy that lives opposite him, but I wouldn't recognise either of them on the street without their dogs. I've spoken to the woman that lives two doors down from him a few times because the bus stop is out the front of her place and she is also a mature age student at the uni.

    At my previous address we all knew each others' names, but that was it. On the night the building burned down (electrical fire in unit 3 on New Years Eve 2003/4), I helped pull the old lady from unit 4 out her window. Still nothing like what could be described as "community".

    I agree with Evrae, it's a modern "Western" cultural thing that didn't exist in quite the same way 20 years ago. We have so much in the way of personal entertainment devices that we don't feel an immediate need to socialise with our neighbours. Some communities are not like this, but I think the higher the population, in industrial nations, the lower the community spirit.
     
  15. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    Didn't I see those stories a year or more ago? I think they were posted on the forum too.

    I saw this article today, coincidentally. In the original article they didn't mention the couple were Indian until the end but as soon as I read it I knew they were immigrants.

    I think a lot of Britain's problems stem from the fact that you alienate your youth. I used to live in Western Australia where we had similar problems, for that reason.

    If you stopped being so *****y and judgemental it would probably go a long way towards healing the divide, but asking Brits to stop being *****y is like asking a Frenchman to take a bath.

    Heh, I read this and immediately thought "this poster is British" and sure enough it was you.

    I think your attitude is part of the problem.



     
  16. MrKaxe

    MrKaxe IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    Britain's society at large or my own attitude?



     
  17. MrKaxe

    MrKaxe IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    Aha...what would you do in our present sitch then Donny?



     
  18. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I'm going to call you on this one.

    When kids have zero discipline at home (parents can't be bothered) or at school (teachers too scared and without any support from the parents), when they hang around getting drunk, vandalizing and threatening people, that isn't being judgemental.

    I have zero interest if kids want to skip school - I don't think I went a day after I was 14. I don't care if they want to get drunk. I DO care if they are going to break my things that I paid for or threaten me or generally be obnoxious.

    Or is this loutish behaviour acceptable in Australia?

    Your comments were quite frankly, ignorant. You are making assumptions about a whole nation based on what? Shall I ridicule you for poor soap operas, far too much weather, a fettish for sheep and cheating a cricket - because you obviously couldn't do well without cheating?

    Slightly back on topic: there is a fine line between the state being involved - as should have happened in the two cases I posted and the state being overbearing as in refusing to let parents discipline their kids.



     
  19. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    OK, is it me or are four posts here out of synch?
     
  20. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Re: Are your neighbours murderers?

    I meant your attitude as a representative of attitudes in the British public.
     

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