A True Story From 15 years ago

I wanted to share this story from my own past with you.  Around 15 years ago I lived in a totally different street to where I am now.  It was a community of all sorts of people, all very different.  It was an extremely densely populated part of the city as well with people squeezed together.

Right at the bottom of my street was a primary school.  A very busy little primary school in the heart of a very busy area.  The whole area was a real mix of privately owned an occupied flats and those that were let out.  There was everything from upwardly mobile couples to flat out dangerous hard men in that area.  All lumped together.

I lived there for a few years and I have to say I got zero hassle from anyone at all.  There were times when a flat would be let out to some extremely dangerous guy.  You can just tell.  When you see them and eventually speak to them, it soon becomes clear that a given person is maybe not really someone you would want against you.  I’ve always been able to present myself different ways to different people depending on what suits.  I found it very easy to talk with them in such a way that they could relate to – and they liked me.  Then I’d speak to all the normal neighbours another way and the end result is that people in the region would all see me as a good guy and stop and chat to me wherever I went.

Parts of the area could be a bit dodgy, but I never once worried.  I am happy to look after myself but I’d cultivated this throng of extremely hard guys who would give me their number and end with “Bro, if ever you get any hassle, just ring”.  It was the sort of area where someone could be there in minutes.  I just saw it as the smart thing to do, make sure none of the local nutters were a problem to me and cultivate them so they would have my back if I really needed it.  Two birds with one stone.

Then one day I get a whisper in my ear.  A convicted paedophile had moved into my street.  Source was good, information checked out.  From what I recall it was child molestation and incest that he was convicted of.

Having found this out there was no way I was accepting him living ten yards from a primary school.  None.  Keep in mind this was 15 years ago when I probably still had misplaced faith in the system.  I probably still believed that they would do the right thing if something was flagged up.

What I specifically recall is that I found this out on the week leading up to Halloween.  This was an even greater concern since unsuspecting children would literally be on his doorstep.  I was sure that such people aren’t permitted to be near a school so armed with that false confidence I called the police and flagged up my concerns.  I think it was on that day that I lost all faith in the system as it is.  Instead of addressing the concerns and thanking me for my public spirit, the officer was very abrupt; conceded that this person lived there but was more concerned with trying to browbeat me into doing nothing at all.  It was evident that the police were going to do nothing to prevent a tragedy.

I knew I could just take it to the local psychos, but in all truth they would make a gigantic mess of the situation.  Let’s just say that the psychos of the area weren’t the brightest.  They were liable to get everything totally wrong and I would be implicated in their disaster.

So I ruled that out.

I also ruled out the champagne socialists in the area for the opposite reason – they’d have wanted to discuss it over a panini.

I decided to just go it alone and with what resources I had.  These resources were a dial up net connection, a god awful printer and some copy paper.  But with those meagre materials I made around 200 warning posters.  Mostly just text.  I didn’t put the specific flat number in case some random put a petrol bomb through it and burned the entire block down.  But it got the message out that there was a convicted paedophile in the area, and it’s coming up to Halloween so mums and dads beware.

I then marched out at 1am.  I had my basic posters and a packet of Blu-Tack.  It took a good while by myself but I finally managed to cover the streets.

I went to bed, got up, and the next day about half were gone.  Something else was gone – his entire flat had emptied.  Gone.  Vanished.  Cut and run.  Must have seen the posters and done an emergency move.  It may not have neutralised him entirely but no children were getting molested in that street that week.  Those primary aged children were no longer at risk.

There are two reasons why I tell you this:

The first is that back then I had zero assistance, no resources, I had dial up, Blu-Tack and paper.  But I did have the will to try, and I wasn’t put off by the manner of that police officer on the phone.  I just found a way to get rid of him that they could do nothing about.  It is now 15 years later.  Technology has moved on.  You can see the cinematic quality of work that Nemo can do.  That is really some talent to have alongside me.  The potential and possibilities in having that type of talent beside me is a game changer.  I did not have someone alongside me like Phil 15 years ago.  He’s not the local nutter who’d totally screw stuff up and land himself and everyone with a life sentence, nor is he the type to want to chat about life over a panini.  That’s a good balance that I can count on.  I didn’t have someone alongside me like Bob all that time ago.

Here’s something else that didn’t exist all that time ago.  You had the internet, but social media, crowd funding, and the ability to really reach a mass very easily wasn’t really there at that point.

The second reason I’m telling you is that it shows how with the passage of time things are closing in on those types of people more than ever before.

How I was forced to deal with that situation was positively crude compared to what we can do today.  The paedophiles and animal abusers haven’t really gotten better in those last 15 years.  They are what they are, notwithstanding to perhaps using the dark web to spread their filth.

Time is catching up with them.  Technology + the will of people is turning the tide against them and ensuring they have no place to hide and predate on anyone or anything.  Yes it is true that sometimes they can be organised i.e. the ‘paeodphile ring’.  But in the majority of cases these types of beasts act alone.  We can openly recruit – they cannot.  We can win the support of the people – they cannot.  We can generate or secure capital allowing us to better expose them and they cannot counter that with a similar resource.

In my view of things the days of degenerates and predators having the upper hand is about to collapse.

There is one closing point though.  I took care of that situation all that time ago as he was in my street and I felt a duty to do so.  That should still be the case 15 years later.



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