Friday, January 12, 2007

Thanet Children Victims of Crime

Today, we have shocking Thanet Gazunder story that children in Thanet have been the victims of almost 900 crimes during the past year.

Police figures show more than half were victims of assault with the greatest number aged between 12 and 16.

The catalogue of crime includes 37 children who were threatened or assaulted before having items such as mobile phones stolen.

Children in the 12 to 15 age group are most at risk of being assaulted, robbed or having personal items, such as phones or school equipment, taken.

Against the background of this story is another, which hasn't made the papers, as I'm told on good authority that one of our local secondary schools has a record number of expectant mothers this term. At the present rate, it won't be long before double figures are reached.

Now while I would be among the first to congratulate the young mothers to be, the numbers involved - allegedly - are symptomatic of a far deeper problem on the island that needs tackling sooner rather than later and together with the robberies story above, should be a source of concern to all parents of teenagers in Thanet.

I know which school is reportedly involved but it would not be correct for me to provide the name as it's a highly sensitive issue.


Chris Wells said...

What is missing from this shock horror story in both the paper and your own blog Simon is proper context. How do these figures compare toother areas, Kent county, other regions, the country etc. We probably all think we know, but it shoyuld be part of any reasoned debate. Similarly, I can envisage a school cluster deciding to cluster single mums together for mutual support and understanding, I know this has happened in other areas, but if this is not known outside the school system, bingo, teenage mums shock horror story.

This is one if those issues where truth and emotion get really mixed and the end result is often less than edifying. All we get in the article is Paul Luxmoores personal anecdotal view. WE could glean thousands of anecdotal views and still be no nearer the truth. This deserves serious consideration I would think.

DrMoores said...

So what context do we apply to the story Chris. Anecdotally, we know we have a significant youth violence problem in Thanet. Much less I'm sure than the inner cities but disturbing in the context of the area. The level of teenage pregnancy appears to illustrate a further problem, unrelated to the violence but related to poor education and social disadvantage.

Pedagogue said...

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

We have spoiled a generation of children to the extent where an increasing but influential minority have no respect for their fellow youngsters, parents, teachers, police or the law of the land. You have cited youth on youth crime and school pregnancy rates. Add to it increasing vandalism, a large and increasing illegal drug use and young drivers in Thanet killing themselves or others whilst showing an utter disregard for speed limits and the Highway Code. Go into any secondary school in Thanet and after wading through ankle deep litter and ungluing your shoe from the gum on the corridor floors, ask teaching staff if the scenes shown on TV yesterday in an unattended classroom are unique; as a supply teacher in Thanet I can assure you they are not.
Until we re-introduce firm discipline and respect for authority and its rules in our society by actually punishing offenders, expect no improvement. When a very serious punishment meted out by a headteacher is a week off school to hang around with your mates, is it really surprising there is a problem. Until we deal harshly with the 15-20% of delinquents we will continue to de-motivate the other 80-85% of fine young people who are crying out for something to be done to the scroats in their midst.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Your quote of the day, Dr Moores, seems appropriate. These idiots have no enemy, so they just do as they please. The Law may not harass them, and if one of the daring civvi's has a go at them, the cowardly bunch turn up with 20 mates and kick the poor guy to death (happened a few times now)....So,
let's face it.... we are scared of them!

They need to be culled like Hunters do to Foxes, Pidgeons, Ducks, Pheasants & Partridges, and the like.

I bet only a couple would die, before the rest of the cowards started behaving (becoming scared themselves).
Sound drastic? Not really. Something has to be done though, and soon.

Anybody ever thought, 'Why does the rest of the world not suffer as badly with this problem' as we do?
It's because they have strong beliefs in justice! Punishment should fit the crime.
You cannot blame the honest to good 'True Brit' who emigrates. You know the type, wants a nice safe life for his wife and kids. Does not want his kids being affected like the cowardly 15-20% of the rest.

Problem is, WHY do we all (Police-Councils-Parents) ignore them..... are we hoping they will go away?
If you have a problem, you have to nip it in the bud!
Discipline at Home, School, must (again) become part of a way of life.
Otherwise, we will remain scared, and the idiots will take over........ (mind you, that has sort of started with the present Government representatives) ;)

Chris Wells said...

What is the most powerful influence on the behaviour of a child? Initially it is the example of life they draw from home, followed later by the example of living they draw from those with whom they mix in a wider world.

What we are discussing is the malaise of the underclass, that slice of society that lives at the edge of our radar, by different rules and understandings. There are areas of life where these cultures cross - the school, the football ground, Broadstairs High Street on a Friday night, and much of the work of the police. This has been a significant problem in America, Canada, France, New Zealand, Holland, to name but a few, with some local variation, such as differing ethnic cultural mixes as well.

Years ago the best ways out of these areas was education (grammar schools) and sport (competitive discipline, channelled aggression), both of which our society has' apparantly' rejected at government level.

At the risk of boring you all I would say any society that puts 24 hour drinking and extended gambling at the heart of its social policy, above family life, under constant attack right now, and elevates human rights legislation to be the new moral code, is heading for disaster on a huge scale.

Not sure I could advocate culling, but the debate here illustrates my original point about hard information not anecdotal stuff with no control comparison regardng historical data or current data elsewhere. Otherwise this is all just the froth of moral indignation, not a valid debate...though the froth of moral indignation is quite fun, what is needed is rather wider and more deliverable than some of the suggestions here. I do not pretend to know all the answers, but we should at least try and get the questions right!

Anonymous said...

People slate the Nanny state for telling us what to do, eat, drink etc. It isn't any wonder when people do not know how to behave with respect to others and themselves. The Goody family on Big Brother merely illustrates what is wrong with this country, just prooves money doesn't buy manners or class. Is it too any suprise the number of programmes on TV now like How Clean is your House and Super Nanny which passes basic information to people they should have learnt from their parents but who were too interested building their careers to bother or who didn't inherit that information themselves. These problems have comeabout as the result of some of the following 1). World wars turning society on it's head, 2) Both parents working causing them less time with their children and in turn has caused a dramatic rise in property prices meaning they have to work harder, 3) An upwardly mobile population where grandparents, children and their children live many miles apart, 4) an increase in leisure activities (watching TV, playing X Box, Playstation) which causes distraction from attending to children (probably as a result of working harder to unwind from it) 5) Liberalism of society from the end of WW2, 6) Rocketing divorce rates leaving children with no father figure (especially important for boys). Society will fragment into two distinctive camps, the underclass in neglected and aging properties that will be the slums of the late 21st and early 22nd century (by which times Victorian Terraces will be pushing 200-300 years old) and those with wealth able to move to new and probably gated estates where slum clearance has been approved.

Anonymous said...

This story can be interpreted in a number of ways.
I prefer to think of it as showing the incredible fertility of Thanet boys and girls, nurtured as they are in our healthy environment with a nutritious diet of coke and crisps.
And the crime figures? Well although it may be true that kids were the victims it is also probably true that bigger kids were the perpetrators.
Its all about survival.
And living in Thanet teaches you to survive if nothing else.