Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

What Does This Say About Britain Today ?

You might think that a night-time curfew is a sign that a country is either suffering from some kind of emergency, or that it's an authoritarian dictatorship. And you'd be right. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusion about which of those Britain is, but for the first time that I can remember we're getting a curfew here.

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary are introducing a scheme in Redruth whereby any child aged under ten has to be indoors by 8pm. Anyone under 15 has to be home by 9pm.

I'm assuming - though no story I've seen actually confirms it - that children who are out with their parents will be exempt; otherwise you couldn't even take your kids for a meal out. The Constabulary's Policy & Procedure Guideline states darkly that "Under a Local Child Curfew Notice, all children under 16 years of age must be in their homes by a certain time in the evening" and "Children who are aged 10 years and under and found outside their homes after the curfew can be the subject of a Child Safety Order....which places an individual child under the supervision of a responsible officer (a social worker or a member of the Youth Offending Team)". God Almighty.

Quite apart from the practicalities of this (children who look younger than they are, children who won't say how old they are, children whose parents won't give a monkey's anyway) there are some truly horrible implications of this.

As a child, I was regularly out after 9pm, perhaps coming home from a football match. My kids - currently 11 - are too young in my view to be out at that time, but in four years' time they won't be. Moreover I'll want them to exercise their independence and freedom in this way because it's important training for adult life. And if I want to send them up to the local shop at ten past nine for a bottle of milk, who the hell are the Police to stop them ?

The sad fact is that this measure (which will spread to towns and cities well beyond Redruth, mark my words) is a damning indictment of the Criminal Justice System's complete failure to deal with persistent offenders. Because of that, we all have to suffer. It absolutely reeks of failure and authoritarianism.

And how long do you give it before it's extended to adults ?


nuttycow said...

Is it a bad thing that I almost agree with this. I suppose it's because I grew up in the country (and therefore there was nowhere to go of an evening when not supervised) and so I don't see the need for children to be out that late.

Old Holborn said...

This is absolutely insane and will set a precedent. The Police want no one on the streets that they might actually have to deal with.

I won't stand for it.

pagar said...

A child may commit a crime after nine pm.

Solution- ban all children from the streets.

An adult may commit a crime after nine pm.

Solution- ban them too.

Moslem terrorists might bomb a tube train.

Solution- ban all Moslems from the underground.

It,s easy this government. Once we've banned eveybody from doing everything we'll have a land fit to live in.

Anonymous said...

As with all this government's meddling, this will make things worse.

A couple of not-unlikely scenarios:

1) An innocent 15-year-old out after 9 pm, maybe on his way home from the cinema, witnesses a crime. Robbery, rape, violent assault, any crime. He is the only witness and he can identify the assailant with 100% certainty. Yet he knows that if he goes to the police, he'll have to admit he was breaking the law himself. So he keeps quiet. A serious criminal gets away with his crime because 15-year-olds are illegal after 9 pm.

2) The same 15-year-old is in a hurry. He was at a friend's house, forgot the time and it's now ten past nine. He ruins past a group of adults. They give chase, since he's running and it's after 9 pm so he must be up to something. They catch him and beat the crap out of him. Does he report the assault to the police and risk an ASBO himself?

No child will report anything to the police if they see it after 9 pm. Adults have carte blanche to assault any child after 9 pm because they're out after curfew, ergo they are criminals. These children, most of whom would have become perfectly respectable people with no form of criminal record at all, will now grow up detesting the police and will, in all likelihood, never report anything to them for the rest of their lives.

For the sake of getting the few yobs off the streets, the innocent must be punished.

It's how the government works.

Andrew Allison said...

We no longer live in a free society anymore. It horrifies me.

Dad Mzungu said...

It is a sad indictment of a society where a minority of parents let their under 10's out and haven't a clue wher ethey are or what they are doing.
Seeing small kids wrecking cars, attacking passers-by, while their parents are stuck in front of the TV or in the pub.
The law always descends to the lowest common denominator.
Take speeding. Many people can drive safely at more than 70 mph, but there are some who can't. So a speed limit is imposed.
MOst laws are formulated in this way. Most of us don't need laws. We know what is right and wrong.
But the laws are there to control the minority, who don't give a ...