KIDS aren’t a tribe apart. They’re as scared of street crime as we are. And they want our society rid of anti-social behaviour as much as we do.
But what’s been labelled “Broken Britain” won’t be mended with quick fixes like the Mosquito, all-night curfews or no-go areas.
These just breed antagonism between young and old when we need to build trust between generations. The Mosquito’s high-pitched screech indiscriminately targets all children and young people, including babies.
But we all know only a few youngsters actually cause trouble. The vast majority are bright, ambitious, interesting and interested, people we can be proud of.
So, instead of demonising children, let’s talk about alternatives that will help solve anti-social behaviour.
What about more youth clubs, so young people have places to go and things to do? How about more bobbies on the beat, so everybody, including kids, feel safe on the street?
And let’s put young people at the centre of this debate, so they can discuss the issues with youth workers, community representatives and the police.
This isn’t being soft on crime. Far from it. If young people cause trouble let the police deal with them.
There’s no easy answer, but my view is simple: Value what kids say and then apply this country’s great qualities – tolerance, understanding, the right to freedom – when we’re considering them.
That way every one of us, aged eight to 80, can help solve anti-social behaviour.
Sir Al Aynsley-Green
Children’s Commissioner for England, 11 MILLION (formerly the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, supporting the 11m children and young people in England to have their voices heard).