Sunday, July 13, 2008

Patrick Mercer calls Redruth curfew a success before it has even started

The idea of curfews on young people is back with a vengeance. It is rapidly getting caught up with the current concern about knife crime.

The Sunday Times this morning says:
A report from a House of Commons committee will say this week that a national curfew on young teenagers could curb anti-social and violent behaviour.
I suppose such a curfew would have that effect. And if you included older teenagers and adults it would have even more of an effect. But do we really want to live under a version of martial law?

It is not surprise to see Keith Vaz quoted:
“I have sympathy with the view that children should not be out after 9pm.”
I have sympathy with the view that Mr Vaz should mind his own business.

But the prize for idiocy goes to the Tory Patrick Mercer:
“We can’t have one rule in one part of the country and another rule in another part. It is clearly something that has worked in Redruth and something we should consider nationally.”
To say that the curfew has worked in Redruth is nonsense. It does not even come into operation until 25 July, as an earlier report in The Times makes clear.

If that is the quality of research that has gone into the committee's report, we can recycle the paper without wasting our time reading it.

And isn't the demand that we have identical rules in every area worthy of a bureaucratic Fabian with the soul of a filing cabinet?


Linda Jack said...

Absolutely agree with you Jonathan. Yet again a kneejerk nonsensical solution that will end up with the further criminalisation of young people.

dreamingspire said...

'recycle the paper': sadly, the Commons Committees still automatically print loads of paper copies, and included in the recipients list are everyone whose contribution appears in the final report (and included in the printed copies, or sometimes separately bound, are all of the written submissions whose authors have not specified that they be kept confidential). Its one way to get published...

Anonymous said...

I’m afraid you are wrong Mr Mercer was not referring to the "curfew" when he said "clearly something that has worked in Redruth"

Mercer was talking about how last winter the police in Redruth considerably reduced incidents of vandalism by imposing a dispersal order.

In my town a pregnant woman was beaten to the ground by young people out and about to enjoy themselves at the expense of our community.

Decent law abiding people are scared to walk in our streets at nightfall, intimidated by groups of young people with verbal abuse common so I also support the curfew and the sooner it comes to our town and makes indifferent parents realise we have had enough of their miscreant offspring the better.

Having said that I doubt Patrick Mercer an ardent disciple of all things military gives a damn for our troubles and I think the needs of the people have become subordinated to his career and agenda. I’m afraid the prize for idiocy goes to people like myself that voted for him in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Back when I was a "young person", I used to go out several evenings a week and walk home around midnight (sometimes alone, sometimes in a group of other "young people").

We would have spent the evening playing Bridge (at the local Conservative club, of all places!) I rather suspect that had an officer of the law asked our business, he'd have assumed we were taking the piss. Next month in Redruth, he'd probably take us back to his police station and drag our parents out of bed...

Anonymous said...

Being a teenager, I disagree that a curfew is the correct way to go about things. Anti-social behaviour is indeed a problem, and something needs to be done about it, but a curfew would only create hatred of the state and police among those in the minority commiting the offences.

It is a large number of people being punished for the acts of a few, and there is little we in the vast majority can do to change public opinion or prevent those few. I feel that this should be left as a test, and new, better ways sort out. If not, it will make all bitter, not just those who do act in an anti-social manner.

I hope Whitehall makes the right decision.