It is truly amazing quite how reliant my business is on the internet; After a poor start to 2010 due to the bad weather things were just starting to pick up when my server got hacked and now my website seems to be intermittently working. Of course the techies are working hard to resolve the matter but in the meantime I can't send or receive e-mails, no one can get information from my website and my payments systems are down which means I might as well not be trading! The 2 days I spent working on pole dance community are now wasted as the new and updated articles on the site were lost in the process. So first came the snow, then the hackers and now roadworks are set to hit Mutley limiting access to my business premises!
On top of the issues mentioned above it seems that Mutley is no longer a nice place to shop and live but increasingly is becoming a hangout for addicts on court orders many of whom show no signs of tackling their addictions . Whilst I am all for helping people to better themselves I do not agree with the current policy of referring addicts to places like the Harbour Centre and offering reduced sentences as a result. Unfortunately an addict can only deal with their addiction in one of 2 ways, either they have to really want to give up and be prepared to work hard and get help to beat the addiction or they need to go cold turkey via imprisonment. Of course we all know that prisons are rife with drugs so the latter option is unlikely and now thanks to the Human rights act heroin addicts are allowed heroin substitutes whilst they are inside. It seems that as methadone and similar substances are just as addicitve as heroin the problem isn't really solved and I have spoken to several addicts who end up getting their free heroin substitute from the Harbour Centre and then still go out and by heroin on the streets.
Despite new laws to deal with anti-social behaviour the police seem increasingly powerless to deal with individuals and cases seem to rarely get to court. I think we are all more than aware of reading stories in the paper of repeat offenders who seem to be treated in a very leniant way by the courts. Anyway I start to digress.
The point is that geographically my business is now situated smack bang in the middle of the 2 Harbour Centres and the Mutley Baptist Church who offer drop in services for Harbour Centre clients. I am liasing with the Church and the local police to try to improve the situation but am seeing little improvement. The 'gentleman' who burgled my business three times last year is back and regularly seen loitering around my premsises. The guy who shouted racist abuse at immigrant workers and then urinated against the wall breaking the terms of his anti-social behaviour order just before Xmas is also out of prison and as I write I can see him outside my husbands office with a friend drinking special brew by the steps of the church.
It seems that some of these individuals are getting all the help they could possibly get but yet they are failing to integrate into society, prison is not a threat to them, they get free meals at the church, they get benefits and housing. Are we not simply rewarding these individuals for their behaviour? Perhaps I should try the addict lifestyle, I have great veins so the nurse tells me, I like a drink and could be quite tempted by a can of beer at 11am in the morning followed by free tea and cakes at the church and a free meal in the evening. I could get benefits so that I wouldnt have to worry about things like tax and self assessment, I might even get some free housing and then if I do accidentally go out and stab someone I will get a few weeks in a hotel, sorry I meant a prison or is that the same thing? Tempted?
I will try to write a less sarcastic blog next time but do feel that the current approach to anti-social behaviour and drug misuse is simply not working and as the divide between the rich and poor continues to grow problems look set to worsen!