Should we join thin blue line?

17th June 2005 at 01:00
Midsummer madness? John Bangs of the National Union of Teachers is surely right that few teachers would want to sacrifice their holidays to help identify teenagers causing mischief in public places (page 1). Even so, the initiative by Burnley police should not be dismissed out of hand. Schools and law-enforcers share a common interest in tackling misbehaviour, whether in the classroom or the wider community. Moreover, Burnley's head of neighbourhood policing hits on an important truth when he says that gang culture thrives off anonymity: young people are more likely to behave badly if there is no one around who knows them.

Perhaps the solution is to provide alienated teenagers with proper amenities, staffed by adults who can help them build responsible relationships. More school-based youth workers would certainly help.

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