A few days ago Slugger received this notice, sent out to people in the Upper Falls last Thursday. It documents the belief of the Brooke and Moor Park Residents Association that ‘a man charged with sex offences was moved into our area’. It continues:
“Residents and community leaders contacted the PSNI and other relevant agencies to get the situation to resolved, but to no avail. As a result the community decided to come together and work towards resolving the problem. The only resolution for our community was the removal of this man from our community.”
You should be able to read the rest of the text. The tone is reasonable and measured throughour. Only, the content is rather disturbing.
The upshot is the man was removed from ‘the community’ after a meeting lasting several hours of talks with residents, ‘community leaders’, the PSNI and the man’s landlord. Once again it raises yet more questions about the resort to expulsion that show scant regard for human rights and due process of law.
Of course no one likes the idea of someone who might be a sex offender living near them or their kids. And I’ve seen a few (mostly middle class) panics over this subject over the years. But who get to decide whether or not someone can live amongst any given community?
What ever the particulars of this situation, you dispense so summarily with the rights of any individual at your own (and your community’s) peril…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty