Letter: Muggings by blacks in London, attacks on blacks in Bristol

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The Independent Online
Sir: Yesterday's three letters on the issue of black mugging in London repeated the standard knee-jerk reactions of those who object to the truth about this issue being publicly acknowledged. The sociological causes of crime were trotted out, despite the fact this belief has been well and truly demolished by research of many years standing. (Why was there not more crime when the working class was deeply deprived in the Thirties?) Then we had the usual class arguments about stockbrokers living in Surrey, as if commercial fraud were the equivalent of being assaulted and robbed in the street. And, naturally, the whole thing was due to that catch-all of the anti-racist agitators - "racism".

The truth is that Sir Paul Condon has had the wisdom and the courage to bring into the open an issue that causes enormous public anxiety, damages race relations, and plays into the hands of the real racists. You do not solve a problem by pretending it does not exist, or by misrepresenting its character.

There is overwhelming evidence that mugging in London is dominated by young black males - and only about 10 per cent are apprehended. Sir Paul has done no more than express society's belief that something must be done to prevent this from continuing. He has given those involved with the black community the chance to contribute to a possible solution. If they fail to make a constructive response, and take refuge in the sort of attitudes displayed by your correspondents, then they will be failing everyone - not least the law-abiding members of the black community.

Yours faithfully,

Ray Honeyford



11 July