Shock is magnified when tragic events happen close to home

Scales of justice
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HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By John Hayes

Listening to the news on the wireless or watching it on television there are times when the horrors we hear about are almost incomprehensible. Shock is magnified when tragic events happen close to home.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family and friends of victims, suffering in ways barely imaginable. Loss of loved ones affects us all, but in distressing, public circumstances the pain must be worse still. Access to all the personal care and support they need - but also the certain knowledge that they are in the thoughts and prayers of so many of us - can help the healing process.

Knowing local people, I am certain we will all respond to the brutal events in Spalding earlier this year with sorrow, but also with fortitude.

Following last week’s news from Nottingham Crown Court (Spalding Guardian, October 20) the police deserve praise and thanks for their handling of such a difficult case, especially so given the chilling nature of what happened; their investigation being carried out with diligence and sensitivity.

When incidents like this occur it is natural for us to want to see swift –and tough– justice; I echo what I’ve heard numerous times from the people I represent – there can be no clever excuses, no empty justification for wickedness. Long prison sentences exist not just to punish the guilty and act as a deterrent to others, but also to signal the righteous, retributive indignation of right-minded people.

Violent crime is extremely rare anywhere in Britain, especially so here in Lincolnshire. Isolated, tragic 
incidents are not representative of wider or growing 
problems. The crime rate is low in our area – in fact we are one of the safest counties in England – and crime fell here by a fifth between 2010 and 2015.

Nationally crime has fallen too - by more than a quarter in the past five years, with 3 million fewer crimes committed. It’s a mark of the wonderful work done by our police officers who work hard every day to keep us safe.

Rudyard Kipling told us that triumph and disaster are imposters that should be treated both the same, and dealing with tragedy requires a similar sanguine sense that hearts break just as hearts thaw, for each are inescapable parts of being human.