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the business of bag snatching…

14 February, 2008

…can be perilous for criminal and victim alike. Tales of petty crime and street robbery are common place to one such as I, working in an industry that aims to assist the harder to help sections of today’s society. I hear stories of muggings, happy slapping and bag snatching from the other side, from the people who are sometimes responsible for committing those crimes.

Usually, I listen to these tales with the detachment of one to whom this type of incident doesn’t affect. I’m not your typical street crime type of victim demographic, if there is such a thing.

My mother, on the other hand, is a prime target for muggers and bag snatchers. She is in her middle 60s and frequently goes shopping on her own. Yesterday she went out on a  day trip to Huddersfield. As she was coming out of a well known department store in the city centre, a youth tried to grab her bag off her shoulder. He snatched at the strap which was over her right shoulder, unfortunately for him, she also had her thumb hooked into the strap, so all he achieved was to spin her around, she however, being startled, swung round and also brought up her left fist and smacked him across the face. He, caught off guard, fell to the floor.

She then got very angry.

As he scrabbled to pick himself up off the floor, my mother then aimed a kick at him and launched into a tirade of exactly what she thought of him. He, now terrified, ran off in a  panic, leaving my mother stood screaming a string of abuse, particularly concerning his questionable parentage.

A few on lookers came to her aid to see if she was OK, but no police were called.

Obviously there are those out there that would warn people not to fight back in such situations. The truth of the matter is that when you’re startled, your first reaction is to protect,  your next reaction is anger and from there you do tend to want to lash out.

It’s not always easy to stand back as someone steals from you. Being a passive victim is difficult, we don’t immediately think, “Oh, he might have a knife.” Our gut reaction is to defend ourselves.

Perhaps if more people were “Have a go heroes” then street filth like Mr Bag Snatcher would think twice about attacking old ladies in the street. 

She can be a fiesty woman my mother. I know, I’ve been on the receiving end of that hand a few times in my life.

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