Did you happen to catch that story in the Herald & Post about the new prison at Addiewell, and how our local law enforcers fear that the visiting friends of the inmates could be spawning their very own mini-crime spree in West Lothian?
It also emerged that around £500,000 worth of plant equipment is stolen in the county every year. That’s half-a-million quid’s worth of JCBs, generators and cement mixers!
What we are saying… No, what the authorities are saying, is that HMP Addiewell attracts these ne’er-do-wells like flies are drawn to – well, you know what. And while visiting the county from Strathclyde and the north of England they use the opportunity to carry out reconnaissance for their own criminal activities. While calling on their (in)mates, they pass the time targeting the scene of their next theft.
Leaving aside for a moment the fact that, prior to the new prison being built, local residents were given assurance after assurance that the presence of the hi-tech building would have no impact on the local area, the whole thing raises another question.
Wouldn’t you think that – rather than attracting more criminal activity – even a quick visit to the jail would actually dissuade these future inmates from engaging in criminal activity? I would have thought that visiting your mate in the nick would put you off following a similar path, rather than encourage you to so the same.
The friends and associates would see their pal’s loss of liberty, the confinement and the hardship and think: “You’ll never find me in a place like that.”
The fact that the opposite is true is proof positive that there is something terribly wrong.
Perhaps – just perhaps – the delinquent visitors see the pool tables (the very ones the cons employed to barricade the doors when they rioted recently), en-suite bathrooms and showers, flat screen televisions – satellite, of course – computer room, library, gym and fitness suite. Perhaps they see all that and think that if they help themselves to a JCB on the way home, what’s the worst that could happen?
Certainly, they’d be better off than some of the senior citizens in the nearby village who have the choice of eating or heating.
It’s proof positive, whether the authorities like it or not, that the soft option simply is not working. They can shout as loud as they want, but they are wrong. Wrong. Wrong. And it’s about time they woke up to the fact.
Doesn’t it tell the teach-rather-than-torture brigade and the “love a lag” lot that something is amiss when even the inmates have christened Addiewell prison “The Addison” after the well known hotel chain?
Just because it’s politically correct to chant the mantra of “rehabilitation rather than retribution” doesn’t make it right. If you are going to rape, murder, mug, steal, abuse children and create chaos in your local community then – mate – you should suffer the consequences.
Rapist? Child abuser? Knife wielding thug? We should study the criminal mind, the softies tell us. Yeah, by lopping the top of their head off like a boiled egg.
Instead of seeing the hi-tech fingerprint recognition locks, these visitors should see big rusty keys. Instead of Star Trek swishy doors they should hear the echo of clanging gates – a couple of terrified screams wouldn’t go amiss.
And when they see their criminal pals chained to the prison wall being hosed down with ice-cold water to clean the filth from them while a rabid, snarling guard dog strains at the leash in an attempt to bite chunks out of their nether regions, then they are going to go straight home without stopping off to help themselves to some hard working fella’s JCB.
If the loss of liberty isn’t enough of a convincer to leave us law-abiding citizens in peace and in safety, maybe the loss of a limb will do the trick. It’s a real challenge to mug some pensioner and sprint home when bits of you are missing.
Now THAT’S rehabilitation.