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June 11, 2006
Will I miss Leamington when I leave in a couple of weeks time?
Based on last night, no. Firstly, don't worry Jimmy, it was nothing to do with your pleasant company during the Argentina v Ivory Coast game.
It was more the virtually constant alcohol–infused violence going on outside my flat from midnight until 2.30am. I must have heard about five instances of threats to murder and tens of people who weren't just drunk but utterly paralytic. It only ended when several people got badly injured and the police (eventually) turned up.
Listening in bed while a long procession of drunk 'revellers' wandered past, it was remarkable how it sounded like a school playground had moved outside, albeit with the added bonus of broken beer bottles ready to be used as weapons. The guy sat in the middle of the road at 1.30am screaming "why are all the pubs shut" (making Big Brother's Nikki sound like an Oxbridge graduate) nearly took the prize for most pathetic excuse for an adult.
That was until some guy appeared (I was at the window by this point) to batter his girlfriend and anyone who tried to get in his way. Judging by the look of horror on the faces of people who could see it properly, and the resulting pools of blood on the pavement, it must have been a pretty horrific attack.
Interestingly, from two floors up you can work out why there appears to be so few police officers in Leamington most nights. They're all in unmarked cars. I must have seen three different saloons go by, each with police inside (you can only really see their stab–proof vests from above). Unfortunately, this means there's no 'deterrent'. There's just the unlikely chance that you might be spotted by a hidden policeman.
Sadly I suspect that leaving Leamington won't bring an end to living with widespread alcohol–fuelled violence. Living in what essentially is a large village at home, I know that even the smallest places suffer the same problems as city centres. And yet you rarely see village–violence(!) reported.