Today the Chief Inspector of Constabulary warned that there should be no cut in spending on police time to deal with anti-social behaviour.
When asked who should deal with anti-social behaviour the majority of people said the police.
It has also been reported today that early intervention is the key to preventing anti-social behaviour…
But NO ONE has mentioned spending any money on YOUTH WORK!
According to the Scottish Government youth work provides diversionary activities for young people (Scottish Executive (2007) Moving Forward: a strategy for improving young people’s chances through youth work. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.) so why is our first response to use the police, to criminalise young people and to demonise them rather than address the causes of the problem?
Anti-social behaviour is a serious issue but it is symptomatic of wider problems. Policing won’t solve poverty, unemployment, lack of attainment in school, alcohol and drug abuse and violence.
These young people are not aliens. They don’t appear each evening from thin air. They are people’s children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. It is said it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that.
Unfortunately just 5% of us volunteer to work with young people and only a tiny proportion of that 5% are men.
And yet we wish young men had role models…