I follow my local newspaper on Facebook and I’ve a member of various local groups. Recently there have been any number of cases of car hijacking, car thefts and burglaries related to car theft (you know breaking into a house to steal the keys to a car). Pretty much every day I see another car theft post on Facebook and every week there seems to be a nasty violent car hijacking reported. Almost all these car thefts seem to involve fancier makes of car like Mercedes, BMW and Audi (although there are a few other makes that seem to be targeted for spare parts and the like). There are a lot of comments about how people work hard for these cars and how you can’t have anything nice without some low life trying to steal it. All of that seems fair comment.
I’ve also seen a recent article about a woman who got raped in the city centre in the early hours of the morning. Many of the comments were sympathetic or angry at the attacker – again fair comment. There were some comments (even some from other women) saying that the woman shouldn’t have been out on her own in the city centre at that time of night. They felt she should have got a taxi or being with friends or got a lift. There seemed to be a suggestion that she’d contributed to being a victim. Interestingly on the car crime posts no one said that the victim had bought it upon themselves by owning a fancy car. I don’t think any of the victims brought it upon themselves, but it saddened me to see the contrast in how people regarded the different victims.
Personally I wouldn’t drive a fancy car even if I had the cash. I’d buy something that looked more dull and unexciting, but I’d step up the luxury by going for the top of the range and lots of extras. I’d do that partly because I wouldn’t want to show off, but also partly because I wouldn’t want to be a target. A dull car might not be a guarantee of avoiding car crime, but I’d be prepared to do that to avoid the hassle. But, that is my choice and I don’t expect others to want or have to do the same. We all have different ideas about what measures are acceptable to avoid crime and everyone will do something slightly different I guess.
Going back to the rape case. Again money no object of course you’d get a taxi if you could, but if you had no money or had just finished a minimum wage job in a bar, would you get a taxi? I think the answer is probably no and rightly so, after all why should a woman feel she had to pay more for transport than a man just to feel safe. It’s sad though that attitudes still seem to be in the dark ages about these things.