Friday, 30 September 2011

Victim Empathy….

I was a victim of crime this week, my car was broken in to and my Sat Nav stolen, even though I hid it in a really obscure place that not even the most seasoned of criminal would think of looking – the glove box.

The car was parked on my driveway at the front of the house and the theft was discovered by Mrs Sergeant Butt, as she set off for work.

She was absolutely devastated; it was a present she had bought me for my birthday! She was angry and wanted those responsible locking up and the key thrown away. (Now as we all know, that was never going to happen)

My reaction was, its my own fault for leaving it in the car and I’m lucky that more items were not stolen, I’m lucky that they did not cause more damage and I’m lucky that they did not try to get into the house, or into the shed.

I felt violated, that someone had the audacity to walk right up to my house, as me and my family were sleeping and take the things that we had worked hard for.

Its not just the item that was stolen that represents the cost of the crime, it is the stress, the worry, the taking time to make alternative arrangements, getting the window fixed, getting to work, how are we going to get the kids to and from school.

That’s what we need to remember when dealing with victims, we can complete the crime report like a robot and churn it out in a conveyer belt fashion. We can use the words and phrases that we learn in training, that would suggest we are showing empathy and understanding, but sometimes you cant genuinely do that, until you have experienced it yourself. (See Kate Harney’s blog)

Mrs Sergeant Butt feels devastated, I feel lucky, being a victim is a real roller coaster of emotions and lets not forget we are talking about a simple theft of a Sat Nav – imagine what it is like being the victim of more serious offences.

Officers and equally the courts need to understand the impact that even a minor crime can have on the victim & their family…..

You can follow me on twitter: TariqButt2

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