But say something derogatory about homosexuals or Muslims and they will be on your doorstep in no time
A father has been shot dead in front of his fiancee and young son by a gang of young men after being terrorised for months. Peter Woodhams, 22, staggered to his front door in Canning Town, East London, after being shot in the chest and collapsed onto the ground. His fiancee, Jane Bowden, 23, who rushed out with their three-year-old son, Sam, to see what was happening, claimed that the same gang had stabbed Mr Woodhams in the neck in January, narrowly missing his jugular vein. She said that she gave the names and addresses of his alleged attackers to the police but no-one had been arrested and officers had not even taken a statement from her.
Speaking about the fatal attack she said that Mr Woodhams had come home from a trip to the shops on Monday and had said that there had been some trouble before going back out. When she heard shooting she ran out with her son in her arms. "Peter turned to me and walked a few steps. I could see blood on his clothes," she said. "Then he just collapsed into some bushes and I started screaming. He managed to drag himself up and walk over to the front door and then fell on to his front. He had been shot in the chest and a bullet had gone through his hand where he had tried to protect himself. Peter was still conscious and talking to me. He kept saying that he couldn't breathe, he was panicking."
Mr Woodhams, a television satellite engineer, had been to the local shops in his car where there is believed to have been an altercation with some youths. Ms Bowden told the Evening Standard how Mr Woodhams had been held down and stabbed in the neck several times at the beginning of the year after he confronted them for throwing a stone at his car. "They wrestled him to the ground and one said, `Hold him down'. Three held him while one slashed his face and stabbed him in the neck. They knew what they were doing - they tried to kill him. "I phoned the police every day for five weeks and they never even came to take a statement from me."
She said that since then the gang of youths, believed to be aged between 14 and 18, had mounted a campaign of intimidation against them. "They knew they had stabbed Peter and got away with it. They thought they were untouchable. He was traumatised by it, but he was determined not to let them win. He wanted to stand up to them and protect me and Sam - that's the way he was." Shopkeepers and residents in the area said that the gang terrorised everyone and regularly stole from cars and shops.
A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said that "a full review" would take place into the initial stabbing inquiry to make sure the "correct police procedure" was followed. She said that at the time a full statement was taken from the victim and officers were given a list of names and addresses of possible suspects but no arrests had been made in connection with the stabbing.
The spokeswoman said: "Following the tragic murder of Peter Woodhams, officers from the Specialist Crime Directorate were made aware of a serious stabbing incident involving the victim in January 2006. Officers from the SCD have been liaising with the senior officers from Newham borough to establish the outcome of this incident; as a result a full review is currently being conducted to ensure correct standards of police procedure were initially taken." A 14-year-old has been arrested in connection with the murder.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)