Tuesday, March 28, 2006

No Quick Fixes to a Very Real Problem

From today’s papers, news that Britain’s youngest drink-driver attacked a lawyer and threw a jug of water at magistrates yesterday as she was sentenced for her second offence of driving while drunk.

Leanne Black, 14, screamed obscenities and kicked over a chair before lunging at the prosecutor and punching her in the back.

As the three magistrates who had sentenced her to four months in a young offender institution tried to flee, the teenager picked up a two-litre jug of water and hurled it at them.

The reality I suspect is that the law is close to giving up on a rising social problem that it is quite unable to contain. Let's be honest for a moment, if the crumbling criminal justic system can't protect you from a 12 year-old drunk driver, there's very little hope further up the growing food chain of organised crime.

Ironically, I showed the front page of the Thanet Times to a meeting of police officers this morning but sadly I can't repeat their comments on the story.

Back in Thanet, however, we have a significant front-page challenge in the shape of young Jason Mobey, from Cliftonville. Although a juvenile can have his picture published when he is given an ASBO, breaching the order means that he can’t be pictured, unless of course the court believes that it is in the public interest to do so. In Jason’s case they did and the law will be changing in a month to remove this ridiculous irregularity which hides the identity of feral youngsters from the public.

Juveniles like Jason and Leanne present a different kind of terrorist threat to the public but one that is more immediate and visceral than the risk of being bombed on a bus. They are everywhere it seems and the law still appears to be broadly unsuccessful in controlling their anti-social and violent behaviour with ASBOs. Giving the lad a 24-hour attendance order and a twelve month parenting order to his mother are hardly likely, I would suggest, to have any effect in removing this sad and disturbed local problem permanently from the streets of Cliftonville. I suspect that we’ll be hearing from him again in the not so distant future. Tell me I’m wrong.

14 comments:

Judge Jeffries said...

At least they put her away for another 4 months of secure detention, likely to have been the source of her tantrum. Couldn't face actually having to pay a consequence for her actions? The same paper reported a 21 and 19 yr old pair with 50 criminal convictions between them and both employed as SECURITY OPERATIVES! The fact that they robbed the jewellers they were meant to be protecting did not surprise me. What did , was the fact that a 21yr old with 40 criminal convictions is not banged up for at least 10 years. The US has a 3 hits system and then severe jail term. We need to lock up for a long time those who are CRIMINAL.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Good idea... 3 chances at behaving normally (non ASBO).
1st time, benefit of the doubt.
2nd time, hair raised on neck.
3rd and final time - 10 years with Social Schooling daily.
No other chances, straight back in the nic if there is a relapse, male or female.

Anonymous said...

We are quick to judge and argue jail'em. We must eradicate child poverty, poor neighbourhoods and lack of opportunity, then those who drift into crime might be able to have a chance.

Anonymous said...

This is a VERY thorny problem ... Lock 'em up - that helps US ... takes the problem somewhere else ... OK then .... lets give them extra attention and training and skills ... THAT looks like pampering and rewarding poor behaviour ... it make normal people angry for not getting the same treatment. This boy had problems way back in primary school where the head was too cowardly to exclude him ... the governors were too weak to exclude him ... and the staff and children had to put up with his abuse and violence. This boy was allowed to roam the streets ... rule the streets ... without check! He did what he liked - If I am correct he even had a part in a film ... which he was given TIME OFF SCHOOL to be in ... the head was too weak to deny the absence. The answer is sort out the problems much sooner ... in primary school ... give the heads and the teachers the powers to exclude to a behaviour unit - get some training for the parents of these kids. This boy - well he is lost now - there will be no turning around for him - if he is banged up he will be entering the school of criminals and he will go to the top of the class - and in 5 years time he will probably graduate to murder!

Anonymous said...

We have had forty years of the liberal agenda "child poverty, poor neighbourhoods and lack of opportunity" blah, blah, ad nauseum and it hasn't worked. Don't you get it yet?. The answer is to lock scum like this up. I could care less about reforming them. Get them away from decent people and amongst their own kind.

Pax vobiscum said...

Our Lord Jesus Christ made it quite clear that no-one is beyond hope and I am saddened that so many on this site can use terms like scum to describe a young boy. Rather than hurl abuse, reach out to him and others like him; give them help by joining Youth workers and other volunteers in youth programmes and clubs. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone are words that come to mind here. God bless you, all, sinners or sinned against.

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha ha ha .. heee heee heee haw haw haw ... ha ha ha ha ha .. ha ... heee heeee heee heeeee ... chuckle chuckle (for a moment to get my breath back) ... haw haw haw haw chortle chortle ... chortle ... hee hee hee ha ha ha ha ha ha ... Oh GOD how some people make me laugh !! This one takes the CAKE! Hee hee hee what planet are you living on? Hey YOU describe this 'young boy' then mate ... hee hee hee hee ... er .. um ... scum .. nuff said! Ha ha ha ha ha .... He who is without sin ... what a belter! How you hide behind this Christain facade - holier that thow ... chuckle chuckle .... Yeah - reach out and lose your watch - your wallet - your car keys - phone - the list goes on ... Oh I wish I could see you in action ....... hee hee hee hee - no one is hurling abuse - just tellin' it like it is! Hey - thanks mate - I have had the best laugh for a long time - When I see a bunch of yobbo's giving someone a good kicking on Margate seafront - I will just sigh and know that you were just tryin to do the Lord's work!

Anonymous said...

anon again!

Pax... poor mislead person.... how many OFFENCES (breaking of the Laws) would YOU allow before getting so annoyed you would insist on this young YOBTHUG (because that's all he is) being put away... does he have to MURDER your mother or something...
He obviously has alcoholic uncaring parents, been a bully during the few months of schooling... he's just an ANTI-SOCIAL slob, who can't be bothered trying to behave, too stupid, possibly an IQ of -1 (if it can be measured). I fostered something nearly as bad once... it didn't matter how much love one tried to show or interest one showed, it was to all'0' effect in the end. Drugs, car theft, Police calling daily/nightly or phoning to ask if I could collect him from custody up near London or further.... at 18 he was asked to leave, as tolerance had drained, and patience was crispilly short... it was for the better. He is now in Gaol, and quite well behaved. I have been to visit, but felt nothing emotionally, even when he said "You were right about me". "You are the only one who really knew me, all the others were just guessing/hoping".
Pax, leave it alone, come off your High Horse, some of them you can help... this one is beyond it... not worth the bother!

DrMoores said...

Probably best not to use CAPS on a thread it's te quivalent of shouting. Let's keep this one reasoned and polite on all sides please!

Pax said...

Peace be with you Anons of 6:36 and 6:46. Try and hate the sin but love the sinner. I am not trying to excuse criminal activity but rather to put the case that unless we reach out in a positive Christian way to what are effectively 'lost souls' we will never improve the situation. It is interesting what 6.46 says about visiting his fostered lad in prison; you clearly touched him to elicite such a comment. If you can try and build on that by writing and further visits. There is hope for everyone in Christ or in finding their own path to God; give up hope and all we are left with is despair of ever improving the situation. I am reminded of a comment by Cardinal Newman on the work of St. Benedict:" Saint Benedict found the world, physical and social, in ruins and his mission was to restore it..." Perhaps we need some more saints in Thanet.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Sorry about the caps Dr M, I was sort of shouting!
Pax, I tried for years to get to the concience of that boy, as said, it was to no avail. Now I'm there, I don't want to be there.
Too much was destroyed. I feel that if now he respects my actions and teachings, I must have been in his sub-concience all the time, but ignored. He will probably go to prison again before I pass away, but that will be all of his own work. I can, therefore, offer no guidance to someone who ignores it from day one.

Pax said...

No offence was taken by caps so no apology is necessary, Anon of 6:46 and 10:48. The point is you tried with this young man and clearly did your best and who knows yet what the positive effect you may have had on him. I have found that rather special people take up fostering of some of our most difficult youngsters, good for you.

Anonymous said...

Hey you guys ... get a room!

Anonymous said...

Dont understand last comment- "get a room!" 8.24 anon. Personally, am following arguments above with interest.