In our most-viewed post of recent weeks, we reported on the fact that there had been a spate of incidents involving people dressed as ‘killer clowns’ and that people dressed as scary clowns had been terrorising innocent members of the public and causing widespread panic up and down the country. When there’s a spate of incidents, there’s a large number of them happening in a short period of time – and we often talk about there being a spate of bad things. So if you move house, your new neighbours might warn you to be careful because there’s been a spate of burglaries in the area recently. You might be so worried that you decide to get new locks fitted and maybe have a burglar alarm installed as well. Or you might hear that there has been a spate of muggings – attacks on people in public places, usually to steal their money, phones, etc. – locally and so you decide to stick to main roads when walking home at home rather than taking short cuts through poorly-lit backstreets.
In London a few years ago, we saw a spate of cycling deaths, which sparked protests and calls for rapid safety improvements. As I used to cycle in and out of the centre of London for work every day, this was a problem very close to my heart, and I’m pleased to say I’ve never had any problems on the road here myself. Another worrying trend involved a spate of hate crimes targetting immigrant communities in certain parts of the city in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union a couple of years ago. Given how cosmopolitan and mixed London is, such crimes really go against the grain – they’re completely different to what’s normal here.
However, spates aren’t always bad. There has been a spate of ramen noodle joints opening up in recent months, which is great if you like Japanese food. There’s also been a spate of halal burger joints opening too, serving burgers that can be eaten by Muslims because it’s from animals that have been killed according to the religious laws of Islam. And finally, there was the rather strange news last year that there had been a spate of incidents involving runaway animals, including snakes, a peacock and even an escaped emu! Whatever else you can say about life in London, it’s certainly never boring!
- Has there been a spate of any kind of crime / a spate of incidents where you live? What happened?
- Has there been a spate of any particular kind of restaurants or bars opening up?
- Can you think of anything that’s caused widespread panic where you live?
- Can you think of anything that’s recently sparked protests or led to calls for safety improvements where you live?