Just an update on my mugging and robbery…
I’d been robbed on a Friday afternoon four weeks ago by a gang of 50-100 kids who swore at me, harassed me, shoved me, jostled me and then stole my phone and camera. The police were brilliant. I got a good view of the lad who stole my camera and the one who assaulted me most. The police got the lad who assaulted me straight away.
I went into Essa Academy on the Monday morning. No-one was available. Not the head. Not the deputies (who were allegedly both teaching – which in my school-leader opinion is a crock of shit. Deputies teach negligible time tables and the time-tabler who puts all the senior staff on time table first thing on a Monday morning is a moron. I can’t remember the last time I had a Monday morning without some incident to sort out from over the weekend.) Not a head of year. Not a junior member of staff. Nobody. I went home. I have no phone on which to be contacted, since they stole mine, so I left my email.
Apparently the deputy came down at 4:30 when I was working. Then next day, the school liaison officer from the police came. She was brilliant. I told her about it. She knew who the thief was and she went off to do her bit.
Nothing very much happened the week after – I’d tried to get in touch with the school, but it wasn’t happening. I exchanged a few emails with the deputy head, Sandy Reid, but I got the distinct impression she wasn’t convinced and that it was just a minor incident to them.
The week after was half term. I gave them the benefit of the doubt of not being in school. The police woman called me on the Wednesday on Jake’s phone, told me they’d caught the lad, he’d confessed and that the school would make restoration of the camera/phone. All was well. I agreed to drop the charges and go for restorative justice, knowing that a reprimand is neither here nor there and I’d not get any sort of punishment further than that.
I got an email on the Tuesday (8th June) to say the deputy would come down to see me and explain. I mailed back to say Wednesday or Thursday would be fine. I stayed in. Nothing. Not an email. Not a call. Not a note. Nothing. I mailed back on Friday to say I was not available on Mon-Weds because I was at a senior examiner meeting *trying to rustle up a little professional courtesy* and still nothing. I emailed the deputy again on Wednesday, having left my new number last Friday, and said she should contact me as soon as possible. I got a phone call mid-morning, but we were cut off. I tried back instantly. No answer. I left a message.
The police woman called me mid-afternoon to say she’d take the girl (I assume!) and the lad who’d stolen from me to the police station. He’d lost the camera, so I’d not get that back. Neither would I get the phone back that the school had agreed I’d get back.
After stewing over it for some time, I called the Bolton News. Surely a story about a woman being mugged by 50 kids was interesting to them, especially in light of a similar thing happening at the weekend. Garry Newlove sends a message to us all. Teen yobs rule the street and are ungovernable. They phoned me back, I told my story. Now I’m waiting for a photographer and hopefully it’ll be in tomorrow night’s paper. Who’s to say?
Either way, I know Essa Academy have got no reason to restore my phone/camera. I don’t mind that. What I do mind is the lack of communication, the lack of punishment for the kids, the lack of sense of community or respect. What I mind is waiting 10 days for a response to an email. What I mind is being fobbed off as if it’s some unimportant issue. What I mind is the school not actually personally talking to me. What I mind is my next-door neighbour’s son having been mugged by teenagers who beyond a shadow of a doubt went to this school. What I mind is that a similar incident occurred two streets away. What I mind is that they give out ipods to their kids who have no respect for their community.
And what worries me most is that I could have been seriously injured by a group of kids. I could be dead. And that’s not being melodramatic. That Friday afternoon, anything could have happened. Now, they know where I live, they walk around brazenly, and I am too afraid to go to the shop when I think they might be there. I make no joke. I’m a feisty woman who walked the streets of Rio without fear, and yet here, in my own home, I am terrified.