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Boy Wins Fight Against Curfew

(31 Posts)
kissalot Wed 20-Jul-05 13:02:24

Apparently a 15 year old boy has won a court case against Tony Blairs new plans to put a 9pm curfew on unnaccommpanied under 16's in certin areas. He said it would infringe on his civil liberty (or whatever its called).

IMO in certain areas this would be a good idea, where the streets are full of little sh*ts vandalising stuff, getting drunk and generally harassing people. Perhaps a 10pm curfew would be a better idea, as I know for a fact I wouldn't let my fifteen year old daughter be on the streets or walking home etc after that time anyway.

I think sometimes it is the parents of these kids at fault (though not 100% of the time).

What does anyone else think about this?

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 13:05:13

I think the boy had a valid point. He was (if he's the one I'm thinking of) on his way home from a music lesson and was being criminalised for his journey time.

If you put curfews on teenagers, they are automatically guilty before being proven so.

What's needed are more places for teenagers to go and less hanging around vandalising parks would occur.

kissalot Wed 20-Jul-05 13:10:30

But what sort of places would teenagers want to go to? Part of being a teenager is wanting to get drunk and smoke fags, we have all done it - one too many diamond whites over the park, but it seems to me that todays teens are all impressed by a 'gang culture' lifestyle. They certainly wouldn't want to hang about in a supervised venue. (maybe I'm wrong but I cant picture it.)

edam Wed 20-Jul-05 13:18:11

Agree with hunkermunker. Have more public officials on the streets to tackle any actual bad behaviour (someone made a good point on another thread about it used to be safe to let children play out because there were park-keepers etc. around). But don't criminalise children just for existing in public.

Hulababy Wed 20-Jul-05 13:25:36

But why do we need more places for teens to go? There were no such places when i was a teen - but I didn't go round vandelising things, hanging out on street corners and causing a nuisance. My parents wouldn't have stood for it to start with, and whilst at school, I had curfews set by my parents. I know even in sicth form, on a school night, that curfew was 10pm. It was relaxed a bit at weekends - to 11pm, unless I was going to a party or another special event. OK, occasionally I'd bend the rules, be late back - but not by much and I knew the consequences.

We used to hang out at each other's houses, go to the local park (not children's park, not drinking or causing trouble), things like that.

Why do teens need somewhere special to go and do all the time?

kissalot Wed 20-Jul-05 13:30:58

I think if it was a 10pm curfew there is no need for children to be out on their own after that time? A lot of the parents round my way are just glad to shot of the kids for a few hours no matter what they are up to. Where I live there is a big problem with the teenagers that hang about, riding scooters ont the pavement, shouting, swearing, smahing bottles, fighting etc. i dread to think of my DDs growing up round here TBH.

Chandra Wed 20-Jul-05 13:37:23

What I have notice is that you build places for the teeneagers and they also vandalise those, so a waste of money IMO.

I think the 10 pm curfew would work better having said that, there are some feral teenagers roaming the streets and being a menace to the public earlier than that. I have heard an 8 yrs old screaming to a policeman that he wouldn't be able to do anything against him (and he was right, no matter that he had thrown stones to me and my baby, he was given a short talk that the kid couldn't care less about). Police can't do anything TBH, even if they want to, and problem kids know that.

I couldn't agree more that is the parents fault, I believe the culture of "Oh, it's just a phase, it willgo with time" is only a kind way to perpetuate bad habits until they really get out of control.

Caligula Wed 20-Jul-05 13:48:19

Actually, the police can do something if they want to. Even in the case of the 8 year old boy throwing stones, he's commiting some sort of offence that a well-trained police officer would be able to pull him up on (there are acres of offences for them to choose from) and although he's not legally liable (being under the age of 10) the police can certainly do something, even if it's only calling social services to cause his parents some annoyance. They don't because they have other priorities.

I actually don't object to a curfew for under 16s. I would object to one for adults because it's up to us what we do (within the law) but I don't see what's wrong with society setting out expectations for children which are to do with their own protection and the comfort of the neighbourhood. Kids under 16 shouldn't be wandering about the streets after about 10PM unless they're with a responsible adult. 9PM is too early though, particularly in Summer.

Caligula Wed 20-Jul-05 13:50:23

Years ago in North Germany they had a curfew (don't know if they still do). We English were shocked by it, but the German teenagers just accepted it - it never impacted on them, because it was 10PM. They wouldn't have been allowed out on their own later than that anyway, so they simply never noticed it.

basketcase Wed 20-Jul-05 14:04:53

I like the curfew idea for minors - agree that 9pm seems a little restrictive for under 16 - maybe for a 13yr old but for over 15s 10pm seems more reasonable.
Are teenagers worse than they have ever been or is it publicised more than ever?
Are children experimenting in drugs and crimes more than ever? Is it more widespread or a well publicised few?
I swing from the "it wasn’t like this in my day..." brigade to thinking that it is as it always was and just hyped up to make a political point or take the spotlight away from other areas of political interest.

Chandra Wed 20-Jul-05 14:33:31

We have a bunch of yobs in the city that find perfectly OK to attack people during the day and in some cases in front of other people. They are constantly portrayed in the local press making smug statements like "I'm addicted to crime", "They can't do anything about it", etc. They vandalise property, attack in groups, they don't stop being violent nor even for the elderly or the disabled.

The only thing I have seen that could be done was to exclude one of the most dangerous from the city, only to move to a little town a few miles away and attacking and almost killing somebody with Downs Syndrome in the unsuspecting town...

Having said that, I don't think the curfew would make a big difference, you could see them vandalising property as earlier as 11:00 am in the middle of the city centre (which is widely publicised as one of the safest places in britain, ha,ha!)

But probably I'm a bit biased since the incident of the stones and since a 12 yrs old shot pellets with an air gun to my then 14 months old, I don't have any patience or hope for those yobs.

kissalot Wed 20-Jul-05 14:39:57

A lot of teenagers have no respect not for teachers or the police. At least a curfew would give some people some peace and quiet (my friend lives next to an alleyway that kids hang about down and they make noise there til the early hours. She gets quite anxious as they are abusive to her when she asks them to keep it down - shes a single mum with a eight month old baby) I really do think teenagers are worse than ever - it's like they can get away with so much and they intend to make the most of it.

Caligula Wed 20-Jul-05 14:42:14

Sounds like piss-poor policing, Chandra. The local police force would prioritise it if they felt under pressure to do so. And local councils have ASBO's available to them to control this behaviour. But there has to be the political will there to do so. (And the fact that one person who was excluded from the town centre just moved to the next town to carry on his bad behaviour there, shows how limited ASBO's are - moving the problem around, rather than tackling the problem at root, is not a long term solution.)

expatinscotland Wed 20-Jul-05 14:51:01

I agree, Hula. Why should I be responsible for parenting and entertaining other peoples' teens who use 'boredom' as an excuse for criminal behaviour?

I was a teen once, and yeah, I liked to be a bit of a rebel, but it didn't involve harrassing people, assaulting them, or damaging someone else's property.

I'm sick of hearing all these yob teens moaning, 'Oh, we're bored, we have nothing to do.' Newsflash: life is boring! Get a damn job, get a hobby, or go to jail if you engage in criminal behaviour - I'm sure something can be found for you to do in there.

Chandra Wed 20-Jul-05 15:20:04

I agree with you Caligula, ASBOs don't seem to make a lot of difference, and I find the exclusion orders ridiculous as they only endanger unsuspecting new neighbours. Unfortunately there are never enough policemen, and as you said they are busy with other things. The day of the stones we were dutyly informed that they have taken an hour to arrive because there were only five policemen in turn in ALL the city, the kid only came back because we have kept his bike (he left it on the floor), in the words of the police woman, those kids would do with a good slaping at home but police had her hands tied and were not allowed much room for action, she also said that we had to get the bike back to him as otherwise it would be considered theft , so DH asked if passing the car over the bike would still be theft, and she only smiled and said: "you soooo could do that! it would be just an accident, especially if the kid had left the bike on the road!" Obvioulsy he didn't but that comment showed us that she was really in our side but she really couldn't do more.

Caligula Wed 20-Jul-05 15:35:10

No - her sergeant would have told her off for wasting time on it.

Windermere Wed 20-Jul-05 15:43:14

It's a shame that the boy doesn't use his motivation and intelligence that he demonstrated in pursuing this case on something other than getting himself into trouble and having an ASBO against him.

As for places for teenagers to go to. When I grew up there were youth clubs, under 18's disco and discounted nights at the ice rink but some teenagers preferred to get pissed and harass people. I don't think things have changed much.

JulieF Wed 20-Jul-05 16:13:46

I have noticed that the estate where I used to live now has a curfew. If it had been in place when I was a teenager I would have broken it. I used to travel back from amateur operatic society rehearsals with a group of friends on the bus. We arrived home around 10.30pm. This was a Friday night.

We also used to walk around the estate in 2's or 3's, just talking (mostly boys, school etc) not causing any trouble, not looking threatening, but many of the residents still complained about us. To me we were no different than a group of mums having a chat outside the local shop.

Blondeinlondon Wed 20-Jul-05 16:21:05

I am pleased for the boy!
Teenagers have rights too

assumedname Wed 20-Jul-05 16:34:35

Windermere - I thought the boy in question was on his way back from a music class?

Caligula Wed 20-Jul-05 17:40:59

The boy in question didn't have an ASBO against him - in fact he had never been escorted home. He was pursuing a matter of principle; that after 9PM he could expect to automatically be treated as a criminal, even though he had done nothing wrong. No other section of the community is (officially) treated in this manner.

Fair enough IMO. 9PM is very early in summer if you're about 14 or 15.

tallulah Wed 20-Jul-05 18:14:28

Somebody earlier asked if teenagers have got worse. In general I don't think they have. The difference is that the minority of yobs has got bigger and more vocal, and "know their rights". There were yobs about 25 years ago when I was a teenager, but there wasn't this idea then that no-one could touch them. I also think that back then more parents were prepared to discipline their kids- even the yobby ones.
I know if I'd ever got into trouble (& I wouldn't have because I was far too timid to be naughty) I'd have got double from my father, rather than the "you can't touch my kids" attitude from the yobs.

Caligula Wed 20-Jul-05 22:33:09

I also think that there wasn't so much reporting of it, so they didn't come over as the majority as they do now. I still don't think they're the majority by a long chalk, but if you assessed your opinions by media reports, you'd be left with the impression that they were.

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 22:40:55

I agree with Tallulah. I also think that we don't allow our kids to be bored. We spend so much time solving things for them and not allowing things to be difficult or challenging and then we wonder why as teenagers they can't quite cope with life.

I'm a firm believer in healthy ignoral. So what if your child is bored. As has been said, life is boring, deal with it.

If we protect them from consequences we have no right to be upset that they act as though there are none!

Chandra Thu 21-Jul-05 00:01:35

Marslady, you're sooooo right. I'm going to write down your post and stick it on the fridge.

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