I’m a crime victim. A statistic. Another percentage point on figures used to show we are living in utopia or going to hell in a handcart.
My bike has been stolen. It was securely padlocked on the landing outside my flat. The dastardly thieves gained entry to the stairs, laughed wickedly at my ineffectual lock and made good their escape.
I made an apologetic phone call to the police and they couldn’t have been more helpful, albeit within the limits of their absolute helplessness in such a situation. So I now have a crime number should I wish to jump through the bureaucratic hoops involved in making an insurance claim. I choose not to.
I’m not bitter. Anyone prepared to risk arrest over a cheap bike that I hardly used probably has some problems that they need to work out.
But I am annoyed – and not just at the thieves. I posted a note about the theft in the communal stair five hours ago. I’ve not heard a peep out of anyone. I knocked at my neighbours. They spotted the broken padlock yesterday morning. They knew it was my bike that was away but they decided not to tell me. They have had three bikes stolen in three months from in and around our flats. They’ve not let any of the other residents know. If they had my bike would not have been there.
I’m not asking for friendship, for street parties to mark national celebrations, for our doors to always be open to each other. But some spirit of neighbourliness, a quick heads up if there is a mini crime spree is surely not too much to ask for.