Outside of school hours, my Cornish village of St Day descends into a state of anarchy. Feral yobs run wild while adults live in fear of threats, vandalism and intimidation. I despair that while we spend millions battling global warming, terrorism and drugs, the biggest threat is harassment by degenerate thugs.
For years St Day, like most rural settlements with a bored young population, suffered the usual mischiefs of the odd problem family and occasional petty vandalism.
Then, in spring 2005, yobs began to gather every night below the village clock tower (right). There are incessant screams, threats to passers-by, regular blockades: motorists have been forced to turn back, while boy racers are permitted to screech through. A chav checkpoint.
For local residents, the protocol on Fore Street is simple: do not confront, do not engage, stay inside. A resident who raised thousands of pounds for a village youth club was repaid with a bag of horse manure, mixed with petrol, set ablaze against his front door.
Things got worse at the end of the summer. A gang broke into a funeral wake in the church hall. They smashed ornaments and hurled abuse at terrified guests, who were ferried home while the attackers ransacked the vicarage.
Days later a church wedding rehearsal suffered a similar attack. Despite plenty of witnesses, and evidence, no arrests were made because the police wanted to catch the suspects in the act.
After a long, hot summer confined to our homes amid the perpetual cacophony of idle, ferocious children, we hoped to regain daytime control of the village with the start of the school term. But while waiting for the school bus one day, yobs set fire to an outbuilding and smashed every window of the parish church.
A middle-aged woman was fenced into a telephone box by 20 screaming thugs; a household was forced out of Fore Street overnight. In total five households left the main street in 2005.
If I found a middle-aged woman fenced into a telephone box by 20 screaming thugs in one of the states I can legally carry I might have to do a magazine change (only 18+1 of .40 S&W in my STI) but she wouldn’t be in the telephone box when I left and the screaming of the thugs would have changed pitch if not completely stopped.