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