Friday, 2 January 2009

You're a nasty nasty child. Go away!

Two items from the 'please flush before you leave' news category today'

Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve believes the public should rely less on the police when dealing with low-level antisocial behaviour by young people. He told the Independent newspaper members of the public need to lighten police officers' workload by no longer constantly running to them for support. Most of the complaints being made by the public are about quite low level antisocial behaviour issues about children and adolescents," he said.

"I don't believe these problems didn't exist in the past, but in the past they were controlled because adults felt confident in tackling these problems themselves, not by being vigilantes, but by being sensible citizens." Mr Grieve is concerned people should not be so concerned about telling children to behave themselves. And he suggested part of the reason for this tendency may be because they are so "regulated and controlled in every other way".

"History shows that if you go out and tell ten- and 11-year-olds who are misbehaving to stop misbehaving or you will call the police, they will stop," he added. The shadow home secretary warned police believe "their discretion has been eroded" because of onerous paperwork requirements. "If somebody comes in to a police station and makes an allegation clearly of the most trivial character they nevertheless have to record it, to investigate it, go through a process of dealing with it which may involve going round and confronting the person against whom the trivial allegation has been made," he said. "Equally, the public seem to have become tremendously willing to go running off to the police to bleat about the most minor matters."

And then there is this:

Members of the white working class feel their views are being ignored by the government, Hazel Blears has warned.

The communities and local government secretary's comments came as her department published a report based on anecdotal evidence suggesting growing concerns about immigration.

Interviews with people living on estates in Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Thetford, Runcorn and Widnes revealed many believe it is easier for refugees and single mothers to find a house than a white working class person. The research also suggested many fear being branded racist if they attempt to point this perceived injustice out to the authorities. "White working class people living on estates sometimes just don't feel anyone is listening or speaking up for them," Ms Blears, whose constituency is Salford, said. "While they might not be experiencing the direct impact of migration, their fear of it is acute." She said it was important to debate these issues in the open so that myths about council housing could be dispelled. Ms Blears added: "If we don't do that people from the far right will be able to pedal the kind of myths that they do and it will get some traction."

Shadow community cohesion and social action minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said the investigation showed Labour had "completely lost touch with their so-called roots. The danger for the rest of us is that this has now created a ticking time bomb of racial and class prejudice," she commented. Baroness Warsi suggested Labour would pursue what she called "a new 'white relations industry'" to woo back its core voters. "This should be a call to focus on the real core problems of worklessness, debt, welfare dependency, family breakdown and drug and alcohol abuse," she added.

My view is that the first 'statement' shows that not only is it the Labour party that has lost touch. The idea of sensible citizen has led to death. "A judge has warned that an obsession with rights had created a society "bedevilled by feral youth". Judge Ian Trigger spoke out amid a wave of anger over the murder of devoted family man Garry Newlove in a vicious gang attack.He also attacked the policy of releasing violent offenders on bail - the case with the ringleader of the gang who kicked 47-year-old Mr Newlove to death outside his Warrington home" And there is more in the same report "Judge Trigger went further, warning of a generation apparently out of control. His attack came at Liverpool Crown Court, as he sentenced a teenager who smashed a woman over the head with an iron bar while he was out on bail for a knife attack. The judge said: "It is the fault of politicians that bail is so readily granted, rather than judges or magistrates. Parliament and its woeful and indeed dreadful concentration on rights forgets duties and responsibilities. It has meant people like you have the right to bail in these circumstances. We are living in a society which is bedevilled by wild feral youths such as you" These are the sort of youngsters who end up in court. Butter would not melt in their mouths?

Certainly, there have been changes in the law which was introduced to deal with situations where those defending their property were more likely to be prosecuted than the attackers.

The self defence provisions of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 will make clear to the public, prosecutors and the police that those who use reasonable force to protect themselves or others should not be prosecuted. As long as they use no more force than absolutely necessary, people should have confidence that the law will support them, so long as:

  • they acted instinctively
  • they feared for their safety or that of others, and acted based on their perception of the threat faced and the scale of that threat
  • they acted to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained, and
  • the level of force used was not excessive or disproportionate in the circumstances as they viewed them.
Quite a few weasel words there though. I've emboldened them. It would not take any great prosecutor to tie someone in knots by asking questions to expand upon those points. Add in the fact that the person who took action will most often be alone and dealing with a number of trouble makers. They will certainly know what story to tell that puts them in the best light and the problem solver in the worst. Stand by for some complaint of sexual abuse if there is a female in their group.

And, what about Dominic Greave himself? Thanks to the democracy of the Internet, we can get some idea of what makes him tick. His voting record as 'Rebel' changes with his Shadow appointment. His voting record (scroll down the link) suggests he is the sort of person who would not get my vote even if he had not come out with such arrant nonsense as his rubbish effort that started this blog. I had always thought that the Boy Dave was my biggest turn-off. No longer. His assertion " History shows that if you go out and tell ten- and 11-year-olds who are misbehaving to stop misbehaving or you will call the police, they will stop" says it all for me. What history? The ten and 11 year olds know the police will not come. They know just how a big hulking adult will be regarded if he uses almost any force to arrest them - they will gleefully embroider this as they give their well rehearsed and fabricated 'evidence' all fresh faced and innocent in their school uniforms. The only stopping they will do is when they grow tired of kicking the adult's head like a football.

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