I've seen it a few times. Well, quite a few times. I've seen people cutting through yards. But they don't just walk through the yards at a regular pace, wanting an easier route to their destinations. What I have seen is people running through yards, jumping fences like jack rabbits, racing across the road and down a few houses, then through another yard and out the other end, in an effort to avoid the law. I have seen people scatter from one house, ditch the evidence, then enter a different house down the road. I have seen people run from a building where the fire department has been called, to hole up in the house next door until their original location is free of officials.
Yesterday, when I saw three youth run through a yard and scatter, I saw a police car soon after. I flagged them down to fill them in on the events taking place. The Police mentioned they were not even after those particular youth. They were looking for someone who was wielding a hammer as a weapon. But, just the sight of the Police caused everyone in the neighbourhood to scatter. And by running, they brought too much attention to themselves. Then, whatever evidence they dumped brought a few more Police cars to the street for a closer look. Although the runners were not located, something of interest definitely was.
It is almost funny watching criminals scatter, visualizing their escape routes throughout the neighbourhood. Seeing the speed at which they move in an effort to elude the Police is almost an art.
So, how do the Police manage to catch anyone in the North End, if they scatters at the drop of a hat or the sound of a siren?
In thinking about ways to combat the scattering of criminals, the movie 'Brazil' comes to mind. I could almost visualize a helicopter hovering overhead, dropping the shrinkwrap over the house. Then troops rappelling ropes to cut holes in the roof, dropping in on those found on the computer generated list. Escape would not be an option. Strait jackets and hoods get installed on the wanted, and invoices produced for signature by those remaining. Then the troops would exit, with their prey in hand, through the same holes in the ceiling. And the captures would fade from memory soon enough.
Ok, back to reality. How do the Police deal with this crazy movement of criminals? I guess the best way they can. We see the Police cars driving up and down the side streets, cutting down the streets and back lanes. We see it all too often. We hear about people jumping out of windows, hopping from roof to roof as they attempt to escape. I do not envy the Police one bit in dealing with these issues. It's got to be a tough job catching these people suspected of ill doing. I can't imagine the frustrations associated with catching them, just to see them back on the streets the next day.
All I really know is that the sirens keep singing and the people keep running. And we keep watching the show.