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Discuss "Meeting my Mugger"


aka ginger warlock
This discussion is not about me, I have touch wood, never been mugged but often wondered how I would react, how it would affect me and what I want to do to the person after the even occurred.

I have just come across this article on the BBC News website that interested me enough to not skim but read through line by line:

Getting my mugger to explain why

BBC home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds was mugged at knifepoint last year and the perpetrator is now serving a four-year sentence. Tom went to meet him as part of a restorative justice programme, which aims to cut reoffending by confronting criminals with the consequences of their actions.

Everyone wants to see less crime on Britain's streets, but it is not often we get an opportunity to take part in the fight, in person. Arriving at Littlehey Prison near Huntingdon, it felt to me like it was worth a try.

One dark night in March 2012, I was walking home after a long day at work when a stocky young man with a hood, mask, and knife came from behind me and demanded my phone and wallet.

I did the right thing, handing them over, and he was off, leaving me shaken and unhurt. His final words were, "Don't call the police. I've got a mate watching you".

It wasn't true of course, and when the police arrived, a fast-moving sequence of events led to my mugger's arrest. He was tracked down using the Find My iPhone app and caught after a fleet-of-foot police officer chased him through a north London housing estate.

Eighteen months later, we are to meet again. Working my way through the patdown and dog search necessary to go behind bars, I ponder my role as The Victim...

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I think this is a very intesting thing to do and a very intesting idea not only for people to face their fears but hopefully shake up the person that did it, in his occasion it sounds like the young man involved was frankly a wimp:

We come face to face in a small room containing comfy chairs and a box of tissues.

He is wearing jeans, a short-sleeve shirt, trainers - and a look of terror. I try to reassure him that I'm not going to get angry. He relaxes.

Restorative Justice works like this. We all describe the events of that night - offender first. Then we all say what effect it had on us, and finally, what we want to happen next.
It also goes on to tell of how his parents make it very clear how angry they are at him, how it is not acceptable and how they did not bring him up to act in the way that he has. This is of course the exception. For some the parent talking to them and telling them how badly they acted may be something that rarely occurs assuming the parents even show up at all to see exactly what they have done. The sad thing is that in the UK many parents simply don't care and wouldn't show up rightly or wrongly.

Would you wish to do this though? Do you think it is a good idea to do something a long these lines? If you were to do it why would you want to? Would it be to teach them that if they ever did it again they would regret it and you make sure of that or would you simply want to show them you are still standing and they are behind bars, so really, who is the bigger person?

I am not sure I could, I am don't know if I would have the courage to do so but I think this men was amazing for doing it.


Registered Member
We have something similar here. In most cases, it's where a mother meets the murderer of her son.

In the case of a mugger, would I do it? I probably wouldn't have the chance to. I'm not one of those people that is just going to let someone come up to me and take something of mine without consequence.

I think it's a good idea, though. It can help in the rehabilitation. Instead of just sitting them in a cell for 23-hours a day, telling them they're 'bad', you have the person that they actually affected coming in and talking to them about how it affected them. Some people that commit crimes don't think about how it's affecting others, and if they know, some of them may decide against crime in the future.


Free Spirit
Staff member
There are some that meeting their victim and hearing how their actions affected them would help keep them from committing such a crime again. Then there are those that would care how their actions affected someone.

I would meet them and if they seemed genuinely sorry for what they did I might even tell them I forgive them. If it was someone that didn't care I might point out the fact they are in jail, their life is ruined, not mine.

If I was there because they killed someone I loved there would be no forgiveness.


I am the woolrus
I was actually violently mugged last year, and then because I was having guests over that night they managed to find my address through my phone and completely clear out my apartment while I was in the hospital for the night. It was an absolutely awful moment, but I would definitely take part in this given the chance, I think it's a fantastic programme.

I try not to accept that anyone given the same opportunities I had in life becomes a mugger. Everyone does what they do simply out of circumstance. They are a product of their environment. I'm sure the people mugging me have gone through a lot worse prolonged things in life than the experience they put me through. I'd like to hear why they do what they do, and similar to the journalist in the OP, it would be fantastic if I actually felt like I made a positive difference after talking with them.

(unfortunately though they were never caught :p)