Police and community leaders have criticised a vigilante patrol set up by members of the far-right British National Party.
Wiltshire BNP organiser Mike Howson said that in response to concerns from local residents, the party sent some of its members to walk the streets of Corsham last Friday looking for anyone committing anti-social behaviour.
He confirmed the patrol - which he described as a "good, calming influence on local yobs" - was the first of its kind in the area, but said others could follow.
However, the move was today condemned by local politicians and the police.
If the police were actually doing their job and were out on the streets instead of doing paperwork this type of thing wouldn’t be needed. Vigilante patrols will always be a good thing. Once concerned residents start taking their communities back from the yobs we will see criminals too scared to do anything because there is one thing that criminals rely on and that is fear. They rely on their victims and other members of society being too scared to do anything.
PAGAD is an example of a vigilantism group which STARTED off in a good way battling. PAGAD were a South African vigilantism group which fought again criminal gangs and drug dealers. They actually ‘invaded’ drug dealers’ houses and burnt them to death. After that drug dealers were frightened of being in areas which were patrolled by PAGAD and drug dealing was reduced in areas patrolled by them. You see, vigilantism works. Once criminals are shown they are not welcome by the community they go because they are too scared to stay.
I am not advocating vigilantes going around and burning drug dealers to deal but I think that the community should play a more active role in tackling criminals. I think it would be a good idea to create citizens patrols which would be volunteers that would patrol the streets of their community and taking action against those that commit crimes. Maybe get those that are unemployed who want to work involved.