The yoof of today
I’ve been on a bit of an operation this week aimed at curbing incidents so frequent that they are simply titled YCA: Youths Causing Annoyance. What this basically means is tackling instances of anti-social behaviour by disenchanted young people hanging around – apparently- aimlessly. For us it means the wielding of techniques and powers such as the power to seize alcohol form under eighteens in public – an anomaly in the law being, until we were given this power, that all the offences relate to licensed premises i.e. the purchase and sale of alcohol to young people, not the possession of it by them. We also use a video team to capture images of the offenders, to use, where there are no blatant offences, to show their parents later – the idea being that the parents will be shocked into better parenting and curb their offspring’s excesses. That’s fine as far as it goes but presupposes that the parents actually give a damn.
I have to say though that the tolerance in the UK for all things young is low. Youths seem not to have to do very much to cause annoyance; simply hanging around on a street corner is annoying apparently and explanations to callers to the police by our control room staff of what the law considers anti-social behaviour to be, doesn’t wash. So I often feel that I am treading a line between enforcing the law and harassing kids who simply want to ‘hang’ with their mates. There is precious little will, it seems to me, to spend any money on providing the sorts of places that are actually likely to be used by today’s young people.
Anyway on a lighter note and talking of all things young; I have a week off next week and am hanging with my good friends Jacqui and Tracy in – this was an impulsive last minute thing – Argassi…what? you don’t know where it is?…it’s on the delightful (I am told) island of Zante (Greece, you uncultured lot!). And as if that wasn’t enough I shall be returning not to my regular beat but straight to the Force Driving School for my driving course – oh joy! I am very excited, though curious to see what the driving instructors are like, I am told they are predominantly older traffic officers and they – traffic officers – are a funny breed. So, from pedalo to police car: should be fun.
P.S. Sorry about the dodgy picture, I don’t know him – honest!