Bath UK Vagrants Launch Auto Protection Scheme

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Your humble correspondent lived in Bath, UK for some four years. The gorgeous Georgian city was home to a huge population of heroin addicts, panhandlers and heroin-addicted panhandlers. Overwhelmed, the local police adopted a 90 percent tolerance policy. So it's no surprise to this journalist that the BBC reports that members of this army of unemployment collectors have organized (if that's the right word) a protection racket, whereby motorists must pay a "donation" or risk having their cars vandalized by their erstwhile guardians. "Motorist Stewart Barratt said: 'I've only refused [to pay] once and I came back to my car and it was damaged, £385 it cost me to put it right. My car had been urinated over, wing mirrors were broken and the wiper blades back and front were ripped off.'" In true "leave it to us" style, the local constabulary's official response is long on qualifications, short on reassurance and stingy with action. A statement from Avon and Somerset Police said: "We are aware of one incident where a motorist was asked for money before somebody urinated on his car. No other incidents have been reported recently."

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 13 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Feb 25, 2008

    In england criminals sue victims that defend themselves against assault. And the UK taxpayer picks up the bill. It's a well documented thing. Boobytrapping your residence is not only stupid and a bad idea, it does not qualify as self defense, and property is better protected by locks and alarms. Your school district example shows what happens when the wrong attorney is hired to defend against such frivolous lawsuits. England has codified self defense right out of the options people are permitted to exercise. Now the vermin are learning they are invincible, while the commoners are left holding the bag. So once again, try that in this country and see what "accidents" befall the vagrants.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Feb 25, 2008

    A Houston cop once told me to either hand over my goods or kill the offender and leave. Nothing in between. He said that they don't try hard to track down people who kill muggers if they can avoid it. Unfortunately, it's the ones who report their involvement who get punished for doing the right thing. Oh, and never ever let them take you anywhere. Fight to the death if necessary.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Feb 25, 2008

    I had a former law enforcement officer (Sheriff's Department) tell me the same thing, basically. If somebody breaks into your home make sure you kill them before they make it off the property. If you only wound them, you better finish them off so they won't be around to sue you and lie against you in the court case. It's much easier to win the case on the grounds of self defense if you are the only ne left to testify how you were in fear for your life and the lives of your loved ones. It's morally wrong IMO, and absolutely sad that the laws and, more so civil courts, in the USA have made it necessary to kill someone who you wouldn't have needed to kill to, in essence, protect your freedom and property from the court system.

  • 2ronnies1cup 2ronnies1cup on Jun 18, 2011

    The 'protection money for car' racket was pretty much universal when I worked in Brazil. Mostly young street kids. The accepted way to handle it was to tear a 10 real note in half, give the leader of the group one half, and tell him he'd get the other if he was waiting next to an undamaged car when you got back. Worked out pretty well in that your small fee bought the services of people who had an interest in making sure your car was safe and chasing off anyone else who may have the idea of causing damage.