REGARDING the present riot situation - this cannot be considered as something new, it is the outcome of an attitude that has held sway for many years. I do not believe this couldn’t happen locally.
Many years ago now, I encountered a gang of boys between 10 and 12 years old strewing the contents of a litter bin and vandalising it, and spreading it over the street.
As a good citizen I asked them to stop. In exchange, I was faced by raw menace and pulled out and was glad to get out of the situation.
At the time there were many cases of damage by youths to bus shelters and public facilities. Here’s where it all started.
The authorities did not try to name the culprits but took the easier option of strengthening these objects to make them damage-proof, and the public aquiesced and grumbled but accepted this behaviour as due to “them kids,” just put up with it.
This gave to youths the idea they could do these things and get away with it. They were already disdainful of grown-ups due to their lack of computer know-how and modernity, hence the hostile attitude towards me.
The PC brigade exacerbated this idea by prosecuting any right-thinking citizen who dared respond with the least action that would be an excuse to summons. Seeing this, the youth of today realised tadults would be afraid of them and showed it.
Having no fear of adults, the youth got the idea they were invincible. Short-sightedly the police were on to this easy option and made sure they took to court every occasion that they could to up their results.
Sadly it has now developed that the youths have had it so good they now equate the police with the adults and think that the PC fraternity will be on their side with their actions, and they will get away with it as before.
How these things backfire and cause mayhem.
PS: Only this week a bus shelter in Park Road was smashed by vandals.
J. F. Cresswell
Park Road, Elland