Why Labour are missing the point on Yobbery
On Tuesday 10th May at about 3pm two youths snatched an I-pod off a 15-year old lad on the Coventry Road near the Swan Shopping Centre. He contacted his mother who then drove after the bus towards Sheaf Lane in Sheldon where she confronted the theives. She then chased them down the Coventry Road towards Topps Tiles whilst taking to the police. Three police cars were involved and the two youths (aged 15/16) were arrested. This was not an isolated incident. Four similar incidents had occurred in the same location in the last two weeks.
The Crown Prosecution service decided that they could not prosecute because there was no actual violence. The youths were let off with a caution. It is clear in this instance that there was fear on the part of the victim. Theft from a person is one of the most frightening experiences.
This incident (which is not isolated) gives an example of why it appears that Tony Blair's Government are in power, but unable to actually influence what happens. Tony Blair wants to ban hoodies. There may be locations where people use hoodies and baseball caps to hide and I would not oppose the right of the Bluewater shopping centre to ban people from using such mechanisms of disguise. In the mean time, however, when theives are caught and identified the government has established rules that result in the criminals being let off with a caution. Blair as usual is going for the wrong target. He is bringing in the fashion police rather than enforcing the law.
We as a society have to say that we will not tolerate these sorts of offences. At the moment the message to the criminals is that society does not care if they do this sort of thing.
I will, of course, make this point directly in parliament as soon as I am permitted to do so. (I need to swear in and then make my maiden speech first). If any media people wish the contact details for the mother I can provide them. She is happy to talk to the media.
In the mean time I will write to Tony Blair. I will refer to the above and say:It is clear that Labour do not understand how to govern this country. You have now been in power for 8 years and serious offences involving intimidation are still happening without the CPS agreeing to prosecute. Rather than change the name of the DTI why not change the name of the CPS to the "Can't prosecute service". That would be more honest.