The Telegraph is my staple news diet at work. But some things really bugged me today;
1) 63 year old woman was convicted for battery after she smacked a kid with her rolled up parish council notes. The Kid in question was swinging on the chain of a war memorial and told her f-off. She shouldn't have been convicted, even though she *did* hit him round the face, which I feel warrants a caution at the most. The mother pf said child went on and on about how he was a blond blue eyed angel... he never swears! Perhaps the most disconcerting thing is that he is 9 years old! This probably accounts for the conviction, as allegedly children below 10 years of age are not expected to know the difference between right and wrong. I disagree. A nine year old should know swearing is wrong and so is vandalism. Grrrr.
2) A 71 year old man was given an ASBO for endangering the public while rollerblading! I can think of millions of obtuse teenagers and young people who recklessly endanger pedestrians while on skates, bikes, pushchairs and generally accessories such as footballs. But the one who gets pulled up is a pensioner. No wonder the police are badly regarded.
PS I know this is a bit of a Daily Mail-esque fascist rant but per-lease, there seems to be a double standard for adults and kids in Britain. The politicians are raving on about needing more discipline and respect, but not using the police to enforce anything other than picking on people that do not deserve it... or the ones they can catch. We really need some common sense.
On this note the pilot of police scooping kids up off the street after dark who are under 16 is a brilliant initiative. If necessary, the police then involve Social Services to ensure the parents recognise what is wrong about this behaviour and help them enforce better behaviour. It may seem a bit Nanny state, but working in shops in the last six months, I am gobsmacked by kids and their behaviour. And, in all honestly, totally intimidated. An incident springs to mind where a man with a learning impairment came in to buy cigarettes and moaned about a group of army cadets outside who were swearing. I wanted to tell him to leave them alone, but couldn't find the words. As he exited the news agents he spoke to the kids. They responded by outrageous swearing, bullying and threatening gestures. It scares me to think that the poor man could get his head kicked in for attempting to uphold manners. Maybe we could all learn from his attempt to curtail swearing, if more people were intimidated then the kids could be brought up on it, but we all fear the end that Sophie in Yorkshire faced last year as she was kicked to death. And with a police force intent on prosecuting those who do attempt to change things, no one is going to be encouraged to interfere.