Re: What's wrong with this country!
Scottie, I disagree that my comments are completely stupid although I confess to feeling outraged at the flaming this young man was receiving for being brave (or stupid) enough to stand up for what he thought was right and put his life on the line to come to the aid of others.
To respond to your comments; I have not witnessed an armed robbery, but I have witnessed and assisted with the prevention of a petty crime - I happened to be leaving a supermarket as a man ran out with over a hundred GBPs worth of meat. I ran to the assistance of the security guard as others just stood and watched. My wife provoked a couple of additional men to assist in preventing the theif from getting into a car and making a clean getaway, but otherwise they would have stood and watched! In this case the danger was limited; the theif may of had a knife, he may have got into his car and used that as a weapon, but in the end he was apprended and he didn't get away with his crime. The victim here might have been a faceless corporation that makes huge profits but the fact remains that the theif was attempting to commit a crime and I believe that by standing by and spectating I would have been supporting him in his criminal activities!
I have also been in the military, and my reasons for being in the armed forces didn't start out as noble ones, but merely because I sought out employment and the military offered me a stepping stone into a career that provided me with training and made me the man I am today. In no way did it make me feel that I had become different from the rest of society and in no way did I presume that I had joined a small elite force of protectors of society! Just because we have police and military personnel does not mean that we give up any responsibility, that only serves to support the ideas that you seem so set on. For me, the police are too small a resource to be able to deal with all crime and need all the help they can get. Your language (cellphone) suggests that you may not be a UK resident(?), but in the UK there are people who give up their free time as Police Community Support Officers (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/recruitment/community-support-officer/). They work with the police in their local communities because they want to make a difference, not disappear into the background in the hope that criminals won't notice them.
I had a discussion with a co-worker about this topic and he seemed to suggest that he would only stand up against crime if it was an individual that was being attacked. How do you judge whether or not to stand up against crime? Do you ask the victim if they can afford the loss? Do you make an arbitrary decision based upon their personal wealth? If you were the victim of a criminal act (if someone was stealing your mobile phone or if you were being assaulted) how would you feel if the people who witnessed the crime turned their back on you? The police are a stretched resource and cannot be depended upon, this country is the way it is today because too many people turn their back on crime.
Just for the record I don't consider that a mobile phone is equivalent in any way to a woman being raped; my point was that crime is crime no matter how much monetary or personal value is affected by the crime.