A void in society?

THERE seems to be a void in society – no-one knows their neighbours any more.""

THERE seems to be a void in society - no-one knows their neighbours any more."

That's the view of Paul Doolan, a well-meaning Weston biker who this week told the Mercury of his desire to reverse what he perceives as society's declining values.

Most people prefer to mind their own business, Paul believes, rather than help someone else.

He is heading a new group - dubbed Community Bikers, but in effect a team of Good Samaritans on Harley Davidsons - which aims to act as an amateur emergency service.

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If police or paramedics are delayed, the bikers will be there, he says. Not to force a confrontation, but to provide a reassuring presence.

Provided the Community Bikers neither undermine nor hinder the real emergency services, it's difficult to find fault with their gesture.

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They are offering to be on call to provide free, voluntary and non-discriminatory support to those in need.

This is not limited to emergency situations, but extends to small acts like running errands for the community's less able members.

He hopes the idea will catch on, and why not? Which of us couldn't learn a little, and enhance our own neighbourhood, by embracing this selfless ethos?

ZERO tolerance. No nonsense. Crackdown on crime.

The Government churns out this tough talk on a regular basis, and supposed action on knife crime has long been a priority.

If you carry a knife, you'll go to prison is the public message. Yet startling figures released this week show that a third of people in found carrying knives or guns in Avon and Somerset are let off with a caution.

Government platitudes aren't the answer. Clich�d 'crackdowns' won't do it.

We need to stop paying lip service to tackling this problem, and the first step to doing that is ensuring that those who carry knives face prosecution. Every time.

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