What's 14 million between friends?

Well done National Post article for telling it like it is in England:Land of Yobs. It's about time North Americans stopped imagining English streets populated by young chimney sweeps and flower girls. It's actually full of drunks. A report by a British police watchdog estimates 14 million cases of anti-social behaviour last year, but admits most cases go unreported. I can probably think of about another million that I used to witness every Friday night.
Living in Canada you probably don't know the sound of your car wing mirrors being kicked off.  It was a sound I got used to after it happened four times to me when my car was parked outside my house. The sound of scuffling in the garden often revealed another of my favourite potted plants had been stolen next morning. People in England can't really put garden furniture or nice pots in their front gardens.  They will be stolen or vandalised. Our estate agent (real estate) sign was uprooted and thrown into neighbouring gardens regularly. Just call the agent on a Saturday and she will tell you there are another dozen similar reports. Our next door neighbour was always jealous of the spiky metal fence I bought because when drunks threw themselves into her lovely hedge every weekend she sort of wished it wasn't such a soft landing for them. I bought the fence when I caught two drunks urinating in our front garden when I arrived home alone one night.
I asked a friend who recently returned to Montreal from Europe what differences she'd noticed. "More people, more public urination," was her answer. Wise words.
I used to work in a beautiful old building next to St Nicholas' Cathedral in Newcastle. Many mornings on arriving at the splendid front doors I was aware they had served another purpose. A public toilet.
Before we left England we stopped going into the city centre at weekends. Hoards of men and women rampaging drunk is something I just got tired of. Call me picky. Lots of my English friends think I'm far too sensitive. But it's only when you move to another country that you realise this stuff doesn't happen everywhere. That's the sad thing. The British think it's inevitable.


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