A London Looter
London Looter by Surian Soosay on Flickr

Northfield Conservative councillor, Les Lawrence, has controversially called for punishment of rioting youths without handing them custodial sentences, instead suggesting punishing their parents’ and taking away their Xboxes.

Cllr Lawrence, the cabinet member for children, young people and families, has suggested that sending the offenders to prison may reinforce their bad behaviour and be seen as a sign of status.

He suggests a different 3 tiered approach on the punishment of youths involved in “riots”, committing crimes such as criminal damage and looting. Cllr Lawrence suggestions involve the punishment of parents, community penalties and removal of young people’s personal possessions.

Cllr Lawrence told Children & Young People Now “We have never really tackled parental responsibility in relation to the criminal activity of those under the age of 16. In my view, action should be taken against the parents as being complicit.”

“We also need to use strong restorative justice community penalties. They should be made to work to repair the damage they have caused and understand the responsibility they have for the actions they have taken.

“Thirdly, the police have the power to seize assets for major crime. If you take their TVs or Xbox they may understand the consequences and responsibilities associated with their actions. These things don’t need the secure estate.”

What do you think of Cllr Lawrence’s suggestions?! Please leave comments below


  1. This is ridiculous. Confiscation of an Xbox is the kind of punishment you giv a twelve year old who stays out past his/her curfew. David Cameron said himself “If you’re old enough to be involved, you’re old enough to take the punishment.” I think police should come down hard on these youngsters. Make an example of them. They’re giving a bad name to youths everywhere!

  2. Taking away their xBox? They didn’t break a home rule they broke the bloody law! They’ve caused upset and damage to people and their property, costing businesses money in this hard time. The people behind the crimes are idiots, they need to go to real prisons (not that ours are much good anyway) they need to be educated properly, but they need to be punished most of all.
    They’ve used something that started as innocent for their own ends, which is stealing, vandalising and scareing people. Well they don’t scare me, I just worry for children and the elderly more than anything.
    I do however believe the parents are partly to blame, they have no control because the children have too many rights, you can’t even smack your child without fear of childline and the social services.
    Kids are moaning about nothing, I bet those kids havn’t worked a day in their lives and yet they use “We want more jobs and we’re frustrated because we can’t get into college and university” as an excuse to carry out crimes.
    This is what ‘Broken Britain’ is. These hooded masked idiots, breeding and committing crimes, abstaining from school and further education. That is what we have to look forward to.
    I say bring back the cane and the board rubber in schools, bring back police man grabbing you by your scruff and taking you home, and bring back care in the community where people look out for eachother.


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