måndag 4 februari 2008

Brighton swimming problems

Rough Sleeping

For the fifth time this year, Brighton Swimming Club members have been prevented from using their changing room because someone keeps putting superglue in the lock. The most likely suspect is one of the homeless alcoholics who hang about under the pier. Unless it is an inside job.

The police were called but are not interested, even though the damage has cost the club hundreds of pounds. But what if he was caught and convicted? Nobody can get the cost of the damage off him, and either he would be sent to prison or given community service, which he would skip anyway. And he might prefer to be in prison, which could well be the best home he has ever had. It is the prevalence of people like that in Brighton that demonstrates how British society is collapsing.

There are others responsible too. Brighton and Hove Council has done next to nothing to support sea bathing. There is a ten year wait for beach huts. And by neglecting an important area of the sea front it has provided ample opportunities for anti-social behaviour of all sorts.

Then there are the police, who don't bother to patrol the lower promenade, which, amongst other things, provides the opportunity for all sorts of criminals to operate undisturbed. You could land a whole boatload of suicide bombers or drug dealers on the beach without being discovered, but then the police are concerned about meeting their targets and it is easier to do that by picking up middle class people who will not cause them any trouble.

Not least, there is Brighton Swimming Club itself, which really is not interested in sea swimming except as a an extension of its pool activity. Thus the club committee has failed to progress any development, such as extending the arch forwards and removing the opportunity for misdemeanour. Such is the incompetence of the club management that when a wealthy member of the club died a little while ago, nothing had been left to it, contrary to what he had long contemplated.

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