Monday, March 19, 2007

All those stabbings

You can't have missed news of the recent spate of stabbings particularly of Adam Regis, who's uncle is John Regis, not that having a famous uncle makes your murder any less acceptable than anyone elses.

We clearly have a problem with violent crime amongst our youth, and what is more, it seems on the increase.

I listened with interest to Sunday's BBC Radio 4's The World this Weekend, ( 4 minutes and 47 seconds in) which featured an interview with Shaun Bailey, a fellow of the Centre for Policy Studies. have to say it was fascinating stuff.

Shaun is an interesting chap. For a start he grew up on a crime ridden estate but avoided crime. You can learn more about him by reading this.

He was asked if family breakdown was important in youth violence. His answer? Massively. Children spend far too much time away from their families. There is a nationalisation and centralisation of child care. You can't administer a hug from Westminster. (even if it is only as far as North Kensington so what chance has the North East got?)

I have to say he was compelling. On the other hand the MP for the next door constituency, Lyn Brown seemed to blame the disparity between the rich and the poor, and in particular in London. I can't say I found her compelling at all, primarily because Shaun Bailey comes from one of the richest areas in the country where there has always been a massive disparity in wealth and youth crime is not getting any better.


Praguetory said...

Interesting that Shaun mentions Feltham. The capacity and churn of that institution is v unhealthy. We need to overcome Nimbyism and have more smaller prisons/custodial centres.

Benedict White said...

Yes, Praguetory, I agree. If prisons are to work, they need to be set up to work. At the moment they are not.

Having said that nimbyism is always a massive problem in politics. We do need to get people to think about it in more constructive ways.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I do hope you are not buying into some terrible liberal claptrap here.

I came from a violent broken home and the last crime I committed was nicking sweets from Woolworths at the age of 9. I got caught, told off and accordingly my life of crime was curtailed. I am now in my fifties and reasonably crime free.

Please never forget, wherever you come from, whatever shit you get dealt, you have a choice.

Nobody forces you to take out your anger and despair on the rest of society - that is up to you.

As for the scumbags.. the only thing they understand is punishment.

Expecting them to accept subtle middle class liberal philosophy and to then expect them to go "Oh,dear! I was wrong all along," just wont wash.

Benedict White said...

wrinkled weasel, The time when you grew up may well have been different. FOr a start these days you don't quite get told off in the way you once were, and there is less support around more children.

That is not to say that punishment is not the answer for those who have commited these offences, but clearly something is going very badly wrong.

Anonymous said...

benedict - that comment wasnm't stupid. keep it up mate.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very interesting post. Thank you. Having taught in a violent school [albeit more than 10 yeras since I left] I find it terrifying to read how youth violence is increasing in the UK. I do think family breakdown is a factor and I speak as one who has always been single and has always championed the cause of the "non-conventional" family.

Benedict White said...

Welshcakes, I think the problem is resolving the conflict between accepting that alternate families happen, and trying to encourage ideals.