As a result of yobs lobbing stones at buses in the South Ockendon area during the afternoon of Tuesday 31.8, the operator, Ensign Buses have had to suspend / divert a number of services until further notice: Stone-throwing youths cause suspension of bus services in west Thurrock. Ensign Buses have a duty of care to their drivers and passengers so once they were aware of the incidents of stone throwing, they had no option but to resort to suspension / diversion.
This is far from the first time an incident like this has happened. Over the years, we’ve been obliged to comment when some scumbags have taken it upon themselves to lob stones at buses, regardless of the risk this poses to drivers and passengers alike and also, the inconvenience to residents who rely on these bus services to get around. Incidents like this are to all intents and purposes, an attack on the community as a service it relies upon has to be withdrawn.
Previously, we’ve described these miscreants as ‘the renegades within’. The element within our neighbourhoods who have no conception of what a community is, let alone any sense of obligation towards it. The element that has lost any sense of morality or responsibility and thinks nothing of the consequences of their actions. The element that’s a product of decades of neo-liberalism, the assault on our communities and the atomisation that’s a consequence of that.
An element… More often than not, a very small element in our neighbourhoods as most people, regardless of what gets thrown at them during their lives, do what they can to keep things together. However, as bitter experience has taught us, it only takes a few dysfunctional households in a neighbourhood to change the atmosphere and create a climate of fear.
These stone throwing scumbags whose actions have inconvenienced many residents in their neighbourhood who relied on the now suspended / diverted services need to take a look at themselves. They need to be made aware that their actions have had adverse consequences for their neighbourhood. They need to be made to atone for the damage and disruption they’ve caused.
It’s not for us to dictate how this needs to come about. That’s a decision the community in South Ockendon will have to make when it comes to dealing with the renegades in their midst. All we will say is that ideally, the solution should come from within the community…