A few years ago, I was in Rome. Three of us were walking back to the hotel. All women, me from Dublin, one from Madrid and one from Oxford. The walk took us past the main train station. Standard city rules, main train stations at night are unpleasant and dangerous. No need to avoid them, but keep your wits about you. Neither myself nor the woman from Madrid could understand how the woman from Oxford was so blithely unaware of this that her behaviour was such that she could have been walking through an empty field with nobody around. Certainly no pickpockets or bag snatchers to take her loosely held bag, no con artists to distract you with a story while another robs you. You get the idea.
I've been mugged once in my life, and ducked below a bottle thrown another time which shattered on the wall behind and covered me with glass. I've been covered with safety glass on another occasion when someone threw a brick from a bridge into the window of the train I was on. I have been badly beaten up, though not as an adult. I have not been raped, though I know at least one person who was. This is probably not an atypical profile.
I still can't work out a sensible motivation for crime - the type with individual human victims. I think an impeded imagination might be involved somewhere. IMO, crime can be harder work than work, for unpredictable returns and sensational risks. Yet that side doesn't get imagined and weighed up and found wanting. Imagination is also the basis of empathy - appreciating someone else's viewpoint and then not fucking them over.
Maybe I'm the one with the broken imagination. I just can't see the appeal.
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