As we nibbled our rhubarb crumble cake and gingerbread loaf at Cake and Chat this morning, we were discussing (as usual) the state of the neighbourhood. Our local PCSO was visiting to
eat cake catch up on intelligence and he and I were talking about the broken Vicarage windows and the local children who play together most evenings. Often there are more than a dozen of them, and they can often be playing out for four hours until the dark drives them home.
We decided that there is likely to be a mathematical formula for the likelihood of trouble eg broken windows that could be developed, using the number of children (C), the number of hours they spend unsupervised (H) and the amount of trouble (T). Something like this I would guess:
CxH = T
So if there are fewer children, or they are driven inside by rain after only an hour, or parents come and supervise, the amount of trouble is much less. The broken Vicarage windows didn’t happen first thing in the evening, but towards the end of things, and there were always a good few kids playing together.
Of course, the formula is really more complex than that, and should include such factors as emptiness of tummies, sugar recently consumed, time since the last big telling off and air temperature. Perhaps if I work on it I can develop the definitive predictor of Trouble and head it off before it comes. Or maybe I should stick to prayer and building relationships.