Volume 92, Issue 11

Monday, September 22, 1998

temper temper


Time to fight back

Dry wine, sprinting slowly and the Little Giant – all oxymorons natural in day to day conversation. But preppy gang?

Recent attacks by this large group on unsuspecting and random victims has raised concern for the safety of downtown patrons and bar-goers. Recently, the issue hit home with Western as a Wave employee and his girlfriend were beaten and suspicion is it could be the gang.

It should be obvious to the police and citizens alike that this isn't an isolated occurance, nor is it one that can be assumed to disappear quickly. The only action that would perhaps quiet this outbreak of violence is added attention and focus on campus, as well as city, security. Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to be happening.

Although the gang has proved its potential for harm, the police's plan of action lacks the actual "action" part. While adding a few plain-clothed policemen to patrol the downtown area and gather intelligence is a step in the right direction, the assumption that two trained professionals can take on a group of 30 is a blind one, at best.

Campus security is focusing its efforts on how to handle another possible incident. However, with no final strategy decided upon, students are left vulnerable to a gang who fits into Western's well-dressed surroundings like a bump on a log.

While it is understandable that both the University Police Department and the London police would like to make quick work of this problem with a carefully executed arrest, leaving a sea of potential victims unprotected is unacceptable. Garnering themselves the nickname of "The Preppy Gang" already makes light of the serious issue at hand. By not pulling all their resources to aim for prevention, the authorities are adding weight to the question already on the public's mind: How dangerous can guys with cell phones be?

The answer is in a trail of broken bones left behind. The phrase "safety in numbers" takes on new meaning for this group. By travelling in a large group, the gang evades arrest by swarming their victims then creating enough confusion to get away. The only thing that can match this strategy is equalling the numbers on the team of safety.

By increasing security in an obvious and purposeful manner, both on campus and in the city, we will be sending a message that we are ready to defend ourselves. Even if this can't solve the problem, it may at least delay another attack – hopefully long enough for these boys to grow up and realize beating someone smaller than you doesn't make you the coolest kid in the class.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazette.editor@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998