Death of a Dream
Contributor / 2005-07-04 16:40:46
The article in the Daily Mail on 2 June caused a lot of people to take up their pens and write to the newspaper. This letter, written by Roger Heald, was submitted to the Daily Mail but they declined to print it. We are happy to reproduce it here:
Having read the above article by Lucie Morris in Alicante, I must certainly take issue with her. She paints a very bleak picture of life on the Costa, particularly for British ex-pats. She mentions the vicious crime wave and the shocking violent robberies being committed, so much so that scores of Britons live in fear and are now returning to the U.K.
I have lived in the Cabo Roig area for almost three years and like most of the neighbourhood, am aware that opportunist burglaries are a way of life. When going out you need to lock your windows and doors and front gates. Most houses have iron grilles and blinds as standard. The lazy holidaymaker, who leaves doors and windows open and money, credit cards and passports clearly visible, then goes out for a night on the town, returns in the early hours to find that he has been burgled. This happens quite a lot but could easily have been avoided if a little common sense had been used.
I am connected with the local Neighbourhood Watch (Vecinos Colaborando) and submit monthly reports on crime in our urbanisation. For many months I have submitted a nil return. I have yet to meet one person who is frightened to live here and has been forced to sell up and return to the UK. Violent crime certainly exists, but I think you will find are isolated cases and not the norm. I read British newspapers and am appalled at the sickening violence that is now a way of life in many parts of Britain. I read of people being afraid to go out in the evenings and lack of police who do not respond or seem not to want to know.
I lived in a rural village in Staffordshire which was relatively free of crime. However, no way would I walk through the towns nearby after 10 p.m. Having said that, a few years ago I was intimidated by four youths (tanked up with lager) in the local town during the afternoon. They took exception to me being dressed in a smart suit. Fortunately I managed to evade them and mingle with the crowd.
I think if Ms Morris had spoken more with Police Chiefs and leaders of Neighbourhood Watch, she would have obtained a more accurate picture of crime in the area and also the time taken to respond by the Guardia Civil.
Crime Ms Morris will continue unabated in all Western countries but please do not paint this part of the world without comparing the terrible crime scene in Britain.