It's getting so that each time I see the UK news or read an online newspaper there is yet another report of a ghastly and gruesome murder/savage attack/ mindless thuggery - you know the sort of thing. What is happening to the country that I grew up in? People coming to the aid of other people and getting set upon, beaten unconscious and later dying; young girls kidnapped and tortured. It's the stuff of films and yet it is real enough.
I've never encountered anything firsthand but about a year ago the husband of my cousin's closest friend left his house one morning and was walking towards his car so that he could go to work - 20 yards at the most. Two youths came up to him and one of them drew a knife and slashed this poor man down his face. Okay, he wasn't killed but he is now too terrified to leave his home and has been on indefinite sick leave since it happened. It turned out that it was an initiation ceremony for a new gang member and it happened in the quiet London suburb of Winchmore Hill.
I don't know what the answers are to help stop this decline in law and order. Look at me - I left all this behind and moved to the French countryside. It's more than a year since I did a UK trip and there is nothing planned in the near future. I'll stay in my sweet corner of the world, look at all the mayhem and despair on the news and be glad that we left England.