Monday 3 November 2003

What to do about yobs

First Minister Jack McConnell has got into trouble over his get-tough plans for dealing with yobs:
Grahame Blair, head of social work for West Lothian, claimed the First Minister’s plans - which include the electronic tagging of wayward youngsters - would be a backward step.

He fears the tough attitude will further alienate youth and undermine efforts to improve behaviour, such as initiatives to encourage them to get involved in sport.

Why am I not surprised to read of the criticism coming from the social work "profession"?

Whilst punishment of criminals of all ages may be required in many cases the correct approach is to focus on restitution. "Yobs" who damage property should be made to compensate their victims to the fullest extent. Such restitution should be widely publicised. That's the way to make it clear that the government isn't "declaring war" on all young people but is teaching the importance of respecting property rights.