Sunday, January 22, 2012

Latest Column from Darcy: 'Random attacks'

Over the summer break, there have been two high profile attacks that have been referred as random by some media - and that seriously troubles me. These attacks were the murder of Phil Cottrell in Wellington city and the violent sexual attack on a young girl who was touring with her family from Belgium.

What troubles me is this: that the often used term “random” gives many the impression that these attacks could not have been predicted which is not entirely correct.
These attacks were not completely random: Both the attackers of Phil Cottrell and the young girl had a propensity to commit these crimes, which is plainly obvious. This propensity isn’t a fleeting and random thing. If you had seen the things that these attackers have done in their lives and the continual increase in severity of these things, you too might have predicted these crimes happening. Indeed, perhaps some had.

These attacks were literally inevitable. Even the choosing of who might be the potential victim might feel random to us, but it isn’t to the attacker. The attacker will choose, and test, who they feel will be a suitable victim. So really, what aspect is left that make these attacks random?

I’ve raised a number of points which merit more discussion, but the main point is this: Do not think that there is nothing you can do to prevent these attacks because they are purely random. They are not.

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