Monday 18 June 2012

What every community needs

I went to a funeral today together with what seemed to be the rest of a local village called Wylam.  Indeed people came from far and wide to pay their respects to the local licensee Norman Weatherburn.  An engineer by trade he worked by day but ran a pub in his spare time.  After his retirement 10 years ago he ran several pubs including the hugely successful Boathouse which won awards year after year.  No matter how hard a day a customer had, Norman had a smile on his face and when asked how he was?  He often replied, "ticketyboo!"  This was despite the fact that he was subject to some vicious robberies in his time, one occurring not that long ago.  It made me appreciate how we rely on the 'Norman's' of this world and how we take such local characters for granted.  All our communities have such people, indeed they are the glue that hold our communities together.  The person who delivers the post, the police officer, the shop owner and indeed the local licensee all give our communities an infrastructure which provides us with our unique cultural identity.  It is when the minority of offenders try to disrupt this harmony by anti social behaviour or blatant criminality then the full force of the law, in a joined up approach should be applied to them, to ensure that our delicate tranquility of life is maintained.  Sadly in many communities this is not the case and a small number of offenders and their families terrorize other residents.  My aim is to target these individuals, we know who they are because every agency receives complaints about the same handful of individuals.  Agencies must improve at sharing community intelligence and acting decisively together,


  1. I saw the wake party this afternoon from the train window on my way home from work; very sad.

    I think fear of being isolated and singled out by the criminals partly deters people from tackling them. If we knew we had the weight of the entire community and the legal justice behind us then maybe more people would put their heads above the parapets and stand up for what's right.

  2. I think that is very true Paul. We need firm action to reassure residents and renew confidence but that won't happen without as you say firm examples being made with the support of the legal justice system. I think the power of eviction is a positive step forwards and from what I have been told, suddenly makes parents of unruly youths sit up and take notice.