Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trick or trash - post-Halloween blues

Sometimes even the BBC does its job.
There's a nice juxtaposition of posts here:
first a brief article about Asbos (that's anti-social behaviour orders), the "behave or I'll really get annoyed" threats of the modern, ultra-liberal judge/society.
Here's the lead:
Anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) have become a "badge of honour" among young people, according to a survey.

"A considerable number of respondents alluded to the potential for the order to become glamorous," the report adds.

and the article goes on to say:

One district judge told researchers young people who breached orders were not properly punished.

"There are quite a lot of people breaching orders and not a lot happening to them when they do," he said.

"You would increase the (prison) population enormously if we... enforced Asbos fully."

and then contrasts it with the following:

Youth Justice Board chairman Professor Rod Morgan urged the police, councils and courts to consult Youth Offending Teams and "exhaust every preventative measure in the community" before giving a young person an Asbo.

He told the BBC that Asbos should be issued only if liaising with the families in question failed to work...

One district judge told researchers young people who breached orders were not properly punished.

"You would increase the (prison) population enormously if we... enforced Asbos fully," he said...

Nacro said it was concerned Asbos were being used too readily and there was a "worryingly high" level of applications for Asbos on certain ethnic groups.

The study indicated 22% of young people given Asbos are black or Asian - two and a half times the proportion of people from ethnic minorities in England and Wales.

I'm with Freud on this. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and usually a special interest group is over-represented in crime statistics because it's over-represented amongst those who commit such crimes.

I can't understand the liberal objections, either. They claim that these crimes are merely a cry for help and a reflection of disadvantage and deprivation. So why are they simultaneously surprised that those groups that they would claim are particularly deprived are over-represented?

Then there's this:

Britain's teenagers are among the most badly behaved in Europe, a study by a think-tank has suggested.

On every indicator of bad behaviour - drugs, drink, violence, promiscuity - the UK was at or near the top, said the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The institute looked at the results of a number of studies of adolescents conducted in recent years.

The researchers believe the country's record can be explained by a collapse in family and community life in the UK...

Nick Pearce, from IPPR, said these figures pointed to an "increasing disconnect" between children and adults.

He said youngsters were learning how to behave from one another instead of from adults.

"Because they don't have that structured interaction with adults, it damages their life chances," he said.

"They are not learning how to behave - how to get on in life - as they need to."

The researchers concluded that the lack of adult interaction has left British teenagers increasingly vulnerable to failure.

Personally, I recommend reading Theodore Dalrymple and PC David Copperfield to get a good idea of the problems. I think I would be looking elsewhere for a role model if my parents behaved as many do in the UK now. Most of the UK population seem to be desparately avoiding adult interaction anyway. Whatever!

Lastly we have this:
Fears that the UK would "sleep-walk into a surveillance society" have become a reality, the government's information commissioner has said.

Richard Thomas, who said he raised concerns two years ago, spoke after research found people's actions were increasingly being monitored.

The Surveillance Studies Network report said there are up to 4.2m CCTV cameras - about one for every 14 people.

You don't say!

It doesn't seem to be doing much for the crime figures, so maybe the libertarian doom-sayers are right.

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