I encountered police twice this afternoon, and I'm trying to decide if it was reassuring or disconcerting. The first time they cycled past me I was jay walking. The second time they drove past while I was crossing the street, but not at an intersection. They ignored my misdemeanours and kept on their way. Given what's been happening in Launceston lately, I'm pretty sure they weren't much interested in a minor pedestrian offence.
We seem to be caught up in a rash of crimes around here, most of them involving knives. Robbery at a pub and the publicans face was slashed; hold up at a corner store with knives (she told them she'd pour boiling oil on them, so they ran away. Fourteen and fifteen years olds, now caught); home invasion and stabbing of grandfather (Eighteen and twenty year olds, one of whom who created quite a kerfuffle in court, swearing at police etc); beating of an eighteen year old in broad daylight yesterday by three older boys with knives two weeks after another bashing of a seventeen year old in the afternoon. Quite the eventful little place!
A few of us were discussing it at lunch and wondering how concerned we should be. We're still all walking to the corner store, jogging, enjoying the parks and generally getting into summer... but should we be more careful? As I walked home with my purse in my bag today, I thought perhaps I should be a bit more careful with it. Compared to other parts of the world, this is a little piece of quiet paradise. I've let down my guard.
And then the police first rode past, then drove by. Ah, they'll keep us all safe just by being more visible! How reassuring. Or perhaps they're working hard to stop more crimes happening. Their increased visibility is an indicator that all is not well. Disconcerting!
I think I'll just keep doing what I do. Walking around, enjoying the city. With my wits about me!