Saturday 24 February 2018

Mob has no regard for rights of individuals

Communities may be more accepting of offenders in their midst if they are kept in the loop, says Emer O'Kelly

We've seen it in the past: mobs of people standing outside private citizens' houses, shouting, "Perverts out". And they mean the entire family, not the father, husband, brother or son who has been revealed as a sex offender.

Their supporters call the mobs "peaceful groups of concerned citizens". Political groups with an agenda of increasing their own vote by creating public unrest say the same thing. And the situation builds, sometimes to a level where the house is gutted by fire, its inhabitants -- including small terrified children who wonder what they have done wrong and why people want to hurt them -- living with relatives, or hiding out in a derelict building.

The sex offender, on the other hand, is probably re-housed, because as a former prisoner he (and it is usually he) comes under the care of the social services.

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