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Everyday Ageism

Hatton Garden pensioners

(35 Posts)
FlicketyB Tue 19-May-15 18:44:00

On R4 news this evening it announced that 9 men had been arrested for the big Hatton Garden burglary at Easter. The announcer said that the ages of the men ranged from 48 - 76. The next sentence said that three of the men were pensioners aged (I think) 67,71 & 76.

AIBU to think that this was pointless and unnecessary remark that added nothing to the story but features in my canon as a classic bit of ageism.

The people who wrote this news item obviously thought that the idea of three men over 65 robbing safe deposits was exceptional and obviously laughable. Wait for Friday and the News Quiz and all the jokes about burglars with Zimmer frames, forgetting where they are and what they are doing.

Lilygran Wed 20-May-15 09:54:40

One police officer just after they reported the crime said some people were very upset because they could not say everything that was in their safe; family papers, family heirlooms. If you have ever been burgled (we have) it's sometimes days, weeks or even longer before you realise everything that's been taken. Last time, we didn't realise the car was also missing for a couple of hours after we got up in the morning and found the broken window. But what has been stolen and from whom is irrelevant, really. I think, going back to the OP, it's just typical of the trivialisation of news. Go for the human interest every time.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 20-May-15 09:51:06

this is an interesting article (just the first bit - there other items on the page.

GillT57 Wed 20-May-15 09:43:09

I understand that the boxes were better stocked than usual due to it being passover and the mainly Jewish diamond dealers had stored their stock in there as they would be shutting shop for a few days. Although it is easy to glamorise this as being a 'heist' the fact remains that many people, also elderly in some cases, have been left not just penniless, but owing money for the diamonds that were in their keeping but did not belong to them. My late DF was in the Met Police and worked on Kray and Richardson Brothers cases and he was first so say that there is nothing dashing and glamorous about these robbers so the comparisons being made in some areas of the media, showing these thieves as somehow relics of the good old glamorous days of the 60's are very far off the mark. Nobody may have been hurt physically, but many will have suffered financial ruin.
Agree with the comments regarding the radio and tv reporting, what relevance is their skin colour?

annodomini Wed 20-May-15 09:28:19

The victims of this crime were not pensioners salting away their nest eggs. Those who were interviewed after the event - and some were very reluctant to be identified - were jewellers/diamond merchants who kept valuable items there. And how could the thieves have managed to effect this very complex operation without information from someone with intimate knowledge of the building? It certainly wasn't a 'back of an envelope' scheme.

Ana Wed 20-May-15 09:24:29

And so is the colour of their skin!

FlicketyB Wed 20-May-15 09:23:20

I have complained formally to the BBC and await their reply.

I do not think the fact that no individual was hurt in the act of committing the crime is anyway of judging this crime.

There is no such thing as a victimless crime. This safe deposit was used by many of the diamond dealers and processors in Hatton Garden, they may have handled and traded diamonds worth millions in their work and may have lived comfortable lives but were not necessarilywealthy. It has been reported that because of the way the diamond market worked they could not insure their stock and many dealers have been left penniless and bankrupt after the thefts. No body hit on the head, but businesses destroyed and families penniless. No victim?

A heist like this will be the work of a team of experienced and hardened criminals. Their age is immaterial.

HildaW Wed 20-May-15 09:08:14

Making moral judgements about how justifiable a crime is, is a slippery slope that can lead to so much argument. We live in a society that has rules (laws) its far better we all abide by them than not.
There is still a tendency to glamorise certain crimes...the Robin Hood effect if you will. What if someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time when this crime had taken place?
I very much doubt this theft was committed by a group of old men who met up down the pub and planned this as a one off event to fund their retirement - that's a Hollywood movie, that I'd probably watch!. Sadly however, this was much more about long service criminals who just happen to be a bit more mature than the usual culprits. We are all living longer and more active later lives so its logical that criminals will have longer 'working' lives.

Riverwalk Wed 20-May-15 08:36:47

Just because there are more serious crimes doesn't mean we can't comment on this one.

If these 'pensioners' are the culprits I bet they have records as long as your arm, going back decades. They haven't just developed a taste for excitement in their dotage.

I'm shedding no tears for wealthy diamond merchants but can't see how this crime is anything but very serious. Criminals involved in these type of things are often involved in high-level drug deals and violence.

Jane10 Wed 20-May-15 08:25:27

But they didn't physically harm anyone! Pondering on what they might have done is stretching it! I can't believe so many of you are being so righteous about this when there are so many more serious crimes going on around the world!

Riverwalk Wed 20-May-15 07:32:44

I understand that many of the boxes are used by local jewellers and dealers to keep their stock in, nothing secretive or anonymous about that.

Also, there's nothing romantic about a classic diamond heist and the inference that it was all a jolly jape - I wonder how they would have dealt with any poor janitor or security guard who got in their way.

Nelliemoser Wed 20-May-15 07:23:12

FlicketyB yes the News Quiz should be fun.

I really do not see why it they had to mention what colour their skin was at all unless we needed to be advised to keep a look out for them.
It was completely irrelevent to the issue.

Yes Flickety complain.

pompa Wed 20-May-15 07:14:01

One also has to question why SOME of the people choose to use the secrecy of a deposit box, and as I understand it have been unwilling to say what they lost.

Jane10 Wed 20-May-15 06:52:10

It was a classic diamond heist not a massacre of the innocents! Sounds like the police recovered a lot of what was stolen. If people choose to keep their 'pensions' in anonymous safety deposit boxes uninsured then that is an obvious risk and an obvious attraction for criminals.

janeainsworth Tue 19-May-15 23:20:02

I agree with you jingl
They shouldn't be regarded as amusing rogues just because they're old.
I hope a film isn't made - such films tend to glorify the criminals and turn them into folk heroes, like the Kray Twins, when in reality they are vicious men.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 19-May-15 22:01:27

The only human interest in the story for me is with the people who lost what they may have looked upon as their pensions. These men are wicked crooks. They have ruined other old people's lives. I hope they get their comeuppance.

pompa Tue 19-May-15 21:55:03

I can't condone their actions, but the saying "Don't mess with a Gran" comes to mind.

grumppa Tue 19-May-15 21:47:16

I think the age of the three oldest Hatton Garden raiders, the pensioners/crumblies/veterans/oldies - call them what you will - adds greatly to the human interest of the story.

Jane10 Tue 19-May-15 21:36:34

I thought it was very interesting. My first thought was that it was like something out of a film. Bet it'll be made into a film. Who would play the 70+ year old brains behind it all? Michael Caine? Billy Connolly?

Ana Tue 19-May-15 21:11:20

Sorry, I had the impression that it was an official statement from an 'official spokesman', not just the hourly news announcer, which is the only reason I mentioned it.

pompa Tue 19-May-15 21:02:02

I can confirm that each BBC region prepares it's own news programmes. They can pull news feed in from world wide news services on the fly.
Our DIL is the news director for BBC Look North, she gave us a tour of the studio, I was surprised just how spontaneous everything was. I even got to sit in the news presenters seat ! But don't let Peter Levy know.

FlicketyB Tue 19-May-15 20:35:30

Ana I think each BBC programme prepares its own news briefings, even though there is a joint newsroom. So it is quite possible that the R4 bulletin would be different to the R2 bulletin. R4 might have assumed that having an older demographic its listeners would want to know that three of those apprehended were over 65 grin

Ana Tue 19-May-15 19:39:04

'Those arrested were described as being aged between 48 and 75 and were said to be "white British males".' (Telegraph)

FlicketyB, the news item I heard was on Radio 2 - I don't see why it wouldn't be said on Radio 4! Surely they wouldn't have censored a news report for the sake of PC-ness?

janeainsworth Tue 19-May-15 19:27:49

I agree with you Flickety and would support your complaint.

On the other hand, you could argue that the BBC drawing attention to the men and singling them out as pensioners, might actually help to change the stereotype of 'pensioners' as old, feeble people who need assistance and special consideration, such as that daft idea that came up recently of providing play equipment at bus stops shock

If there were more news items that highlighted pensioners doing things like robbing banks, winning dance competitions, or getting first-class honours degrees at the age of 75, then it might gradually dawn on people what a disparate group pensioners actually are, and the term might then revert to its literal meaning, of someone who draws a pension, rather than carrying the negative and condescending connotations it does now wink

merlotgran Tue 19-May-15 19:26:31

I can't see the problem with calling them pensioners. If they'd been students that's what they'd have been called.....or housewives or illegal immigrants etc., etc.

Whether or not they are claiming pensions, they are pensionable age. That's all it means.

HildaW Tue 19-May-15 19:15:34

sad but true