Muggings - ‘The majority of victims are young men’

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MUGGING is a crime that we tend to think of as happening to vulnerable victims and especially older women.

That is partly because when the old and frail are targeted we are shocked and it lives long in the memory.

Who can forget, for instance, the terrible attack that left 75-year-old Drylaw church elder Evelyn Crawford fighting for her life last month?

So it is sobering – quite literally in some instances – to see in black and white the hard facts about one of the crimes that tends to frighten us most.

The truth is that the overwhelming majority of street robbery victims are men and many of them are young men.

The early hours of the morning at weekends when many young people are returning home after a night out drinking are a peak time for muggers. Mobile phones and other expensive gadgets often carried by the young are a common target.

These facts should not frighten us. On the contrary, the crime statistics show once again that on the whole the Capital is a safe place to live, and that remains true despite the rise in the number of robberies last year.

The message has to be don’t worry, but do be sensible, especially if you think you may be drinking heavily at the weekend.

Pedal power

THERE is at least one part of the city’s transport strategy where the council can take some pride – its efforts to promote cycling.

The benefits of more people getting on their bike to work are obvious – both in terms of improving our health and cutting pollution.

Creating secure bike sheds in streets with a high number of tenements is just one part of a wider plan to make the Capital more cycle-friendly.

And it is a very practical way of making cycling easier for many people.

Last week, the council pledged an extra £100,000 towards bike initiatives, a tiny percentage of its overall transport budget, but a big increase.

Cynics will see that as a ploy to win votes from the cycling fraternity in May, but the opposition parties have their chance to pitch to the same voters.

The city has signed up to the laudable aim of having more than one in seven trips across the Capital being made by bike by 2020.

In a city of hills and often poor weather, that seems a tall order, but with the political will in place, who knows what might be possible.