Recently one of my constituents, a university student, came to see me and I noticed that he had cuts and bruises on his hands.  He wants to remain anonymous, so let's call him Scott.

He told me that, walking home in the late evening in his university city, he encountered a gang of four hooded youths - Scott actually called them something unprintable - who demanded that he handed over his mobile phone.

He refused and was pushed to the ground and jumped on, but before the mugger could strike a blow or seize the phone, Scott struck his assailant hard and managed to run away from the others.  He thought that he might have damaged the man's jaw, possibly quite badly.

Days later, Scott was clearly still furious about what had happened to him.  I asked if he had reported the incident to the police.   He said no - first because he had no faith in the local police force to actually do anything about it, and second because he was concerned that if they did catch the mugger it would be he, Scott, who was prosecuted for assault, because "the legal system does seem to favour the aggressor."

Scott told me:  "I believe I acted in-line with the wishes of the silent majority of this country who understand the need for tough, preventative policing and sentences for people like my mugger.  I want this to be an example that crime goes unreported because the public do not have any confidence in the efforts of the police or the legal system to support them as they should."

In the last few days I've been across the country campaigning for the local elections, and one of the consistent messages coming up on the doorsteps is real concern about violent crime and antisocial behaviour.   Scott is indeed speaking for the silent majority.  I'm determined to give him, and them, a voice.

Michelle Taylorcrime