Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Respect - I'm Not So Sure

People could be banned from their own homes for three months for being nuisance neighbours under the President’s latest "respect agenda" proposals.

Police may also get new powers to deliver on-the-spot fines, and there would be more parenting orders with the public able to demand tougher action from local police on anti-social behaviour.

While I’m not convinced that the latest raft of measures will improve on the other feeble headline grabbing initiatives on law and order that we have seen from the government I’m encouraged by one part of The action plan which would compel police officers and council officials to hold "face the people" sessions to explain what action they were taking.

Where local people were not satisfied, they could ask new local scrutiny committees to investigate through "community calls to action”, the police and other agencies would then have a duty to respond to the committees' findings.

The trouble is that thanks in part to the rapid dissolution of the role of the nuclear family under this government, we now have a lost generation who now have very little respect for anything or anyone but know very well what their rights are. I’m not sure we can easily reconcile a zero tolerance approach to anti social behaviour on the one hand with the misguided liberalism, crumbling criminal justice system and failed social experiment that dropped us in this present mess.

I think most of us know what kind of action is most likely to stop anti-social behaviour in its tracks and it’s certainly not a fear of ASBOS, tagging or even eviction. Once upon a time the local police might have resolved an antisocial problem in the back of a van but those bad old days have gone – except in Spain and France and Italy and well just about everywhere else in Europe except Germany perhaps – and we’re surprised that a small but disproportionately active minority of troublemakers in our society show no respect.

Sixteen ministers were dispatched around the country for photo opportunities to highlight the new measures. But Mr Blair encountered some scepticism at when a police officer said the measures would work only if the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts backed them up.

The officer remarked: "Respect? They can't even spell the word. What they need is to be named and shamed.

"But then even an Asbo is a badge of honour to some of these kids."

Respect can't exist in a moral vacuum, something that politicians, now appear to have forgotten.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting parts of this coverage on television this morning was the lady who stated she was campaigning to get victims the same amount of support and funding as the offender gets. Just occasionally you hear a little sentance like that which seems to summarise very accurately what we are doing wrong. under the current regime, even if this lady gets her way, it will only be available to nominated minority groups, whom the outdated politically correct thinkers beleive deserve it more than the rest of us.

Some 3 years ago my family were subject to unprovoked attack by a neighbour. The Police responded well, the Criminal Protection Service appallingly. I moved my family away for safety's sake, only to hear that as we had moved (been driven out for safety in reality) the CPS reduced his sentance as re-offending was now less likely! You really could not make it up. Does this man have any respect for the system now? I doubt it, he got away woth assault and threatening behaviour, and the system did'nt bless him, but certainly gave him little punishment.

We can, it would appear, erode civil liberty to protect against terrorists, but not at the destructive daily levels so many face. Scrutiny committees at neighbourhood level demanding action sound awfully good in soundbite; reality is if successful they are likely to be almost vigilante in effect, if unsuccessful simply add to the cynicism felt by so many.

However, any attempt to tackle these issues must be welcomed, as any attempt is better than pretending this mess does not exist.

Chris

Anonymous said...

anon again!
I think, that if the Law (a Judge or Controlling Body) let's a Criminal go FREE, and this known a
Criminal RE-offends, the persons who let him out, and forced others to let him out, should also have to accept some sort of punishment.
Especially in the case(s) of murder or drunken driving, Yob Behaviour etc,et.,
This would make the do-gooders also responsible for further crimes comitted by that particular person.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are not going to sink to the depths of someone like hitchins refering to the primeminister with a sarcastic title it spoils an excellent site