The best and the worst of human behaviours was on display in Horsham over the weekend.
On Easter Saturday queues patiently formed outside Park Surgery for second doses of the vaccine. People doing so not only for their own sake but to benefit others they know and those they do not and never will. Vital second shot booster-jabs were being organised and administered by healthcare workers and volunteers who have been doing so consistently, effectively and with great humour since before Christmas. The hugely high level of those participating locally joining the more than 31.6m who have had a first jab and 5.5m, who have had two, across the UK.
The benefits of the vaccine campaign and the sacrifices made through this lockdown are now apparent with people able to see others (outside and socially distanced) over Easter and non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality and (at last!) barbers and hair dressers able to reopen from 12thApril.
It is good to see services that have necessarily been mothballed restarting with renewed vigour. The “Snack wagon” has been re-liveried to a Collyers-student design. Its team of youth workers from 4The Youth will shortly be out again engaging with young people who have endured a great deal throughout the last year and, despite the best endeavours of many, have missed out on education and social interaction: in doing so have helped prevent further illness and death primarily among older generations.
There was therefore much to celebrate over the last week: people continuing to do what they need to do to help others and to get through the pandemic and increasing signs that the path back to normality is working.
Alas over the same weekend there were three serious knife incidents in Horsham, Southwater and Billingshurst. All the more shocking because of how rare these events are in our communities. The police are keen to hear from any member of the public with information they can share. Anyone with relevant information is urged to report it to the police online or by calling 101.
While we have lower crime rates that most other areas this cannot be taken for granted. There are more police and PCSOs available in Sussex now than there were last year and this will grow again in 2021/2. They are keen to make a real difference. It was good to speak to officers in Southwater earlier this week and their message is very simple. Please do report crime, no matter how minor it may appear, by us doing so they can follow-up, direct resources and help ensure community safety.