Crime and Mobile phones

Remember the good old days when we had the Nokia 3310 with no camera? We were content with the horrible ringtones and the fact that we could change the cover and play games like Space Impact, Bantumi and Snake? The battery life of a Nokia 3310 is way better than the iPhone’s battery life, that’s for sure. But now that mobile phones are at an advanced level with high quality cameras and good memory storage, it gives people the opportunity to record anything. And I mean ANYTHING.

Nowadays, I’m seeing videos of crime posted on the internet that was clearly recorded on a mobile phone and sadly no-one was bothered to help the victim. What we don’t need is someone witnessing abuse and their first instinct is to grab their phone and start recording it. How will that help the victim? Not only are they being humiliated at the fact that people are casually recording it, but they would want someone to help them. If the witness hesitates to actually help, then the least they can do is call the police. Mobile phones are not CCTV cameras.

Here are 3 real life examples of crimes I’ve seen on the Internet that really shocked me. Each of these videos were recorded on a mobile phone and could’ve been stopped. It’s still available on the Internet and very easy to find, unfortunately.


Man stoned to death in South Africa:

I watched a video of a Somali man who was brutally killed in South Africa as he was stoned and beaten. This video was recorded on a hand held device and what really saddened me was that no-one stopped it. It looked like his clothes were stripped off and his arms were tied behind his back. I couldn’t finish watching the entire video as it was too much for me but from what I saw, there were more than 50 people standing there watching, some were even cheering. Why did this happen and why did no-one help?


Woman abusing a baby:

Now this one had me traumatised. A woman was sitting on a bed with a baby (looked like a toddler) who was lying on his chest. In the video, the woman continuously slapped and kicked the baby as his cried louder and louder. She then grabbed the pillow next to her and by force, slammed it against him around 5 times and with each blow, the baby actually stopped crying to catch his breath. The part that really got to me was when the baby struggled to get up and slowly started crawling towards her but she pushed him away. Another woman was recording all of this and spoke in a different language. She sounded surprised by what she was seeing but did not stop to help the baby. This video went viral and it did raise awareness which eventually got her arrested, but didn’t the person recording have the heart to stop this evil woman?


Boy attacked by a group of idiots:

A group of boys decided to jump on one teenage boy by kicking him in the face and punching him. The person who was recording this was a friend of the attackers, who stood there laughing and even offered to hold one of their gloves as they continued to beat him up. At one point, he even took a close up shot. The boy appeared to be Asian and most of the attackers had masks on and they used racist remarks. This video lasted a couple of minutes of non-stop violence towards this one boy who eventually managed to break free and run away. If anything, these so called “attackers” thought it was cool to jump on him at once but would not have the guts to fight on their own. They deliberately recorded this for fun.


However, the good thing is that due to the reaction that it got, something was done about it. The Somali community were outraged at the video of the Somali man beaten to death in South Africa and protested against it. The woman abusing her child was arrested and the group of thugs were charged. But this only happened because it was posted online and got thousands of hits. Surely, if the crime was stopped as soon as it happened then it would’ve prevented injury or even death?

If you were in any of the situations above, would you help the victim? Or would you record it and watch the violence unfold right in front of you? What if the person dies or gets seriously injured when you had the chance to stop it? In my opinion, there’s only so much you can record on your mobile phone. And crime is not the one.

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