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David Diebold: Must our city become a place where everyone looks the other way?

Picture the scene. You're at home in your apartment, it's late at night and an incessant thumping of music and the noise of a raucous crowd has the ceiling rattling.

Your young child is wailing now, unable to sleep and your heavily pregnant wife is tossing and turning -- discomfort is quickly becoming distress. What are your options? Call the police and make a complaint? Wait hours for them to come and hope that they won't just tell you that it's a civil matter and to make the complaint to the apartment manager?

Or do you more than likely wearily pull on some clothes, cursing to yourself and go upstairs and demand that they have a little common courtesy and keep the noise down?

Perhaps you err on the side of caution and call a friend, fearful that there could be trouble when you go to the door if, as is likely at this hour, they're drunk and difficult?

We don't know what exactly went through the mind of Warren O'Connor's friend in the early hours of Saturday but we can guess.

Few of us could say we haven't been in similar situations and fewer again could say hand on heart that we haven't marched next door, across the road or upstairs and attempted to deal with the situation ourselves.

More often than not, an argument ensues. Neighbours fall out. Big deal. Such scenarios crop up in our court with ever-increasing frequency.

What we don't expect, however, is for someone to end up dead. But this is what it has come to in this city.

Tackle a handbag snatcher and expect to be had for assaulting the assailant, or at worst, end up slashed or stabbed by the fleeing junkie.

Have your house broken into and hit the burglar over the head and you could still end up on the wrong side of the dock yourself.

Try to get a little hard-earned peace and quiet for yourself and your young family and someone ends up in the morgue.

Do we really want to live in a city where, when these situations arise, we're forced to just pull the blankets over our heads, close our ears and our eyes or look the other way?

Because right here, right now, that seems to be our only choice.


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