Saturday, March 03, 2007

Playing Chicken

If you know the Canterbury road traffic lights in Westgate, opposite the library, you'll know it has had more than its fair share of fatalities, which is why it now has pedestrian crossing lights.

Yesterday, I was stopped in front of the lights, watching three teenagers, "hoodies"in trendy gang gear, between, I guess 13 and 15, sauntering along from the village. They weren't at school and they weren't 'local' in the indigenous sense of the word and instead of waiting and crossing on to the central reservation, they stepped into the road in front of me and walked right through the crossroads and the speeding dual carriageway traffic towards the library, where they finally skipped back onto the pavement again laughing at the thrill of surviving. Motorists did of course have to stop or slow to avoid hitting any one of them.

A police car came from the Minster road in the opposite direction. Did it stop to ask why the boys weren't at school, not that I saw.

You see this kind of deadly juvenile daring behaviour from time to time in Westgate, either on the roads or the railway line; I've seen both but it all rather begs the question as to why, half way through the term, if a place can't be found for these boys in local schools or the authorities are unable to prevent them truanting, then who is failing them and us so badly by allowing them to roam at will in our community?

Ed: Nearly 600 school-age children are being convicted or cautioned for crimes every day, according to new Government figures.

The rate at which youngsters - school pupils and youths - are acquiring criminal records, and being placed on the national DNA database after being arrested, has surged in the past two years. Much of the crime is "youth-on-youth" as we have seen recently in Thanet with the local paper reporting 900 offenses over the year. - See earlier story in the archive.


Anonymous said...

I absolutly agree with you.schools exclude these children and they are left to roam the streets.i was in margate library yesterday and there was a group of young teens generally misbehaving and swearing etc and the staff had to ask them to leave,rightly so.but if they are excluded from school there surely must be a place they can go and be supervised and do something useful otherwise we are failing them and they will go off the rails and have no hope..

Anonymous said...

Send them to the army, thats the only place they will learn discipline and respect.

Tony said...

Without crime to report the local papers such as the Thanet Crimes would probably go out of business. In a way the papers do thrive on it but sadly there is glorification which doesn't really act as a detterant.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, it is not a game of 'chicken' being played in this behaviour but the result of an insufferable arrogance that results from complete disrespect or regard for any rules; these youngsters have not abided by rules in their schools and as far as they are concerned the rules of the road don't need to be followed either. They also know that they are 'untouchable'! Just see what would happen to an irate motorist who stopped and got out to administer a belting!

Secondly , if they are not excluded Thanet youth, they may well be part of the large fostered population of Thanet from authorities outside Kent. KCC will not go out of its way to school them; this is a little publicised abandonment and neglect by the Athorities of some very vulnerable young people who are thus free to go on the 'street'. Until punishment actually punishes the numbers of lawless feral youth will continue to grow.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I remember this nonsense being mentioned at school assembly in the early 1970's. Kids don't change.

Anonymous said...

Yes they do Jeremy and our present wild element have. The 70s kids were raised by 50s parents, quite a difference!

Anonymous said...

I cant remember the 70s kids committing 600 crimes a day. Convictions or cautions ( probably a lot of the latter!)for 10 to 17 year olds rose 15% in 2005 to 214,979 and our Government has a spokesperson saying" The number of young people involved in crime is STABLE!"
So Jeremy, kids dont change? 40% of personal property thefts(muggings) are by 11- 16 year olds; Sexual offences by 10 -16 year olds now 1,998 per year and 122 school children are mugged every school day. Do you recognise 70s kids here? I don't.