Monday, 8 August 2011

Anarchy on the streets of Tottenham, N17

Images of lawlessness have been broadcast across the UK on our television screens.  Arson, looting, stone throwing, vicious violence against the Metropolitan Police and their vehicles, criminal damage resulting in the destruction of homes and businesses, these disgraceful actions by "mindless people... intent on causing violence" have angered Tottenham residents and the nation.

It is claimed that much of the anarchy on the streets around N17 was caused by outsiders and troublemakers who took advantage of the chaos.  They allegedly came to steal and to bring havoc to the locality.  Some businesses and residents will now find it difficult to continue working and living in Tottenham.  It has been said that these riots and destructive events have "ripped the heart out of the community."

There was a breakdown in law and order.  Let us hope that the Met. Police and community leaders will be able to restore, rebuild and revive this troubled town.  Justice needs to be seen, and criminals need to be brought to justice so that they are punished for their crimes. Some are demanding corporal punishment for major crime. (Major Crime and Corporal Punishment? It's an old joke!)

What kind of upbringing did these delinquents have?  Without parental discipline and the good example of a father as a positive role model, they have become wild and wicked.

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Hebrews 12:8, to quote the 1611 Authorized Version of the Bible, now celebrating 500 years of influence.  I wonder how much biblical influence and Christian teaching these "bastards" had?  Some of these crime ridden estates are sadly breeding grounds for bastards, kids out of control, where teenage pregnancy rates are unacceptably high.  Absentee "fathers" and ill mannered mothers are failing to bring children up with social skills and a good understanding of decorum and decency.  I bet that there would be evidence of irresponsible parenting if one looked into most of the backgrounds and home life of these lawless looters and destructive delinquents.  There is often a clear correlation between bad parenting and criminal behaviour.

Many who travel to see Tottenham Hotspur playing at White Hart Lane (though the ground is in Tottenham High Road) may be quite unaware of the area's high rates of crime, teenage pregnancy, unemployment with serious social problems: gang violence, racial tensions, drug dealing, and gun possession.

There some large churches and Christian ministries in Tottenham, London N17; they bring a message of hope and good news in what has been described as a "hurting community". May they rise to the challenge to bring Christian caring, sharing, and bearing the burdens of those in need.

We live in times when community care, cohesion, co-operation and Christian ethics are sadly missing.  Selfish, sinful and stupid behaviour that does so much harm has been very evident in Tottenham, N17, in the London Borough of Haringey.

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