Sunday, February 22, 2004

Sometimes this place hurts....

We've just returned from a weeks break on the south coast. Arriving back in Poplar late evening. The towers of Canary Wharf dominating as I lift our eldest daughter out of the car seemingly asleep. I feel the tear first running down my neck. Then a sniff. Then a sob. "Heh whats up?". "Dad I don't like London why can't I feel safe here like I do in Southampton?"

It's not fair that an eight-year-old should have to witness a mugging or to see her parents wade in to stop the attack. It's not fair that an eight-year-old should have to witness the police investigation of a local shooting or to watch ‘her park’ being systemically razed to the ground as local gangs vie to build the most spectacular fire under the kids equipment to trouble the fire brigade. It's not fair that an eight-year-old should have to hear stories of neighbours being abused by local yobs or retaliation on households that have called the police. It's not fair that an eight-year-old should have to witness drugs being dealt in the street outside our front door or to see a stolen joy ridden car mount the opposite pavement out of control.

Sometimes this place hurts....

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