Working with criminals has its advantages, I am often unafraid of being mugged or caught at a point where I shall be asked for my mobile phone and wallet. But it also means I am more aware of people who look like trouble makers. This, I am not sure is a good thing or bad, as at most times I judge people by their appearance.
Okay... its not just the hoodies in the park that make me suspicious..its more than just that. And I know its discrimination. But I dont know if its fair to base your judgement on the 'road' by what you see at work!
Late last night as I walked home, I walked past a poorly lit park. Past a group of very drunk men and women who were trying to walk straight with pints of beer. My first reaction was, oh they are ok, there are women with them. And I was okay, but then I reflected on my reaction, is being accompanied by a female reason enough to be 'ok'? Are women safe? Or is it just an assumption that no decent woman would go out with a nasty knife weilding mugger?
I then walked past a small group of young men, who were dressed in floor kissing, ass revealing jeans, with studded belts baseball caps over their hooded sweatshirts. They seemed to be of a mixed race. I did not spend time staring at them. They were hanging around outside a 7/11 that sells alcohol. Their dress and body language told me to walk clearly past them, rapidly. No eye contact and no turning around.
Where have I learnt this discriminatory thinking and am I right in using it for my safety? From where does this survival / safety instruction journal come into my head. Surely its not just from working in a Prison or from typified media depictions of young offenders.