It seems that every year a new type of crime pops up. Some so new that the criminal justice system has to play catch up and develop new ways to deal with them.
At one time in New York City in the early 2000’s, it was all the rage to buy discount designer pocketbooks on the street. So hoards of Nigerian bag hucksters showed up hawking their bags from large cardboard boxes affixed to hand trucks. Of course they were illegal. When nabbed by the police they were not only charged for selling merchandise illegally, but also “trademark infringement” because the bags were fake Guccis, Coach, Kenneth Cole, and Diana Karen, etc.
When these (non-English speaking) offenders were arrested, they were taken down to jail and court in groups. There the courts had to provide court-appointed translators who spoke Wohl ( an obscure Nigerian dialect) and lead them step by step through the judicial process. Yes, this was American (New York City) Taxpayer money hard at work. . . . . . . .
Now the two newest crime waves are as follows:
The cellphone snatch: It’s official, the criminal element watches for people who are easy marks or targets. That means folks who are too busy either texting, or talking on their I-Phone are perfect targets. When the perpetrators see the victim is distracted they know the victim will never know what hit them! So, they run up, shove the person to the ground, grab the cellphone and run! Usually, they go for the most expensive I-Phones.
The question I must ask is, why are you so occupied with your cellphone while walking in the street (sometimes at 3am in the morning)? You are supposed to be watching where you are going, your surroundings, and the people around you. It’s common sense because people are ALWAYS watching you, the way the cat always watches the mouse. For your own safety, save the texting for when you are inside and off the street.
Forcible Touching: According to New York Penal Law Forcible Touching is a form of sexual abuse (ex: groping, unwanted sexual touching through clothing). This law has been on the books and has been used in cases of sexual harassment (in the workplace by male supervisors intimidating female subordinates). However, there has been a recent and very public upswing. Why? Because it’s Summer Time and women are walking the streets scantily clad. “Half Neekid” as a friend would often say.
Now, as an American woman you may say, “It’s hot, and I have a Constitutional right to wear and walk the streets of New York City (or city of choice) in my “cool and sexy outfit” without some man accosting me and grabbing a handful.” Yes, you do. However, in this day and age you as a woman don’t know what kind of perverts are out there roaming the streets.
Yes, you can wear that micro mini, but can you handle the consequences if a 6’4”, 250 pound man grabs you in an unmentionable area in public? Unless you are a female version of Johnny Bravo, Qwi Chung Cain (Kung Fu), or Jackie Chan, I doubt it. Most women are NOT capable of fighting off this kind of assailant. So, why take the chance of attracting what I call the “Unknown Exponent?”
You can report these incidents to the police, but, a disgusted and overworked detective once told a victim, “No offense Miss, but, you need to stop dressing like a whore. . . . .” Yeah, I know, that’s a shot between the eyes, but it is very true.
Like my late, Old School British West Indian Mom used to say: “A LADY should always dress the part”.
It is so obvious that both crimes are preventable. It’s just a matter of applying a bit of common sense.
Otherwise, as Voltaire so aptly put it “Common sense is not so common.”