I've just returned from a Council meeting in Sutton. I had expected to post stories of how the LibDems passed their budget and pushed through the rebuilding of Elizabeth House in Cheam but a single feral action lasting no longer than a minute has seized my breath and takes my focus.
I was relaxing over a drink with a couple of colleagues, talking over the evening's events when a crash of glass behind me got my attention. All I could see was a crazed, feral attack with someone sitting over another man, crashing glass into his head. Others had seen them hit and kick the man who I believe, turned out to be one of the waiters going about his job. As quickly as it started, things stopped in a sea of silence as people took in what had happened.
The police and ambulance arrived fifteen minutes later. A CCTV camera in the corner of the bar would surely had captured the attackers and the camera pointing towards their escape route should seal their fate. The rest of the staff were shocked and stunned, but retained enough composure to look after their colleague, get the emergency services in and keep the place going. They didn't deserve this, but they deserve plenty of praise.
This isn't an essay on crime or the fear of crime in Sutton. It could have happened anywhere. A quiet Monday night in a bar that was no more than a third full is not the first place the police would camp outside in readiness. This is an immediate reflection on a horrific reminder that there are some that think nothing of smashing razor-sharp shards of glass into someone's face in full view of 9 or 10 people and a camera, without thought of the consequences. It is a reaction to a stark lesson that there are some in a comparatively prosperous area like Sutton who fall into the gaps of a society that is broken in parts, whether it be through alcohol, drugs, education, family breakdown or a combination of them all.
I hope the victim recovers well and that his scars heal quickly.