Inner City Youth

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by B_G_L, Nov 27, 2005.

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  1. Good article in The Sunday Times about trying to tackle council estate youth crime.,,2087-1892987_1,00.html

    Doesn't pull any punches abouts whats missing from these kids lives and how political correctness is partly to blame for the situation getting worse rather than better over the past 20 years or so.

    I followed a few links and found this written by the author who pulled himself out of one of these estates and one of the main reasons he believes made him do it was being a member of the ACF.

    Defiantly worth a read - gives a bit of hope that not all is lost with some of these places.
  2. Thanks for the link, brilliant article.

    That bloke speaks more sense than any Media Liberal, politician or politically-correct Police chief I've ever heard of. He's bang on the money, and I've got a little insight into it as I used to work on a robbery squad on those very estates some years ago. It was pretty depressing seeing kids you were nicking for robberies aged fourteen and fifteen going inside for firearms offences in their late twenties, talking to them for any length of time was a field study in extremely depressing nihilism.

    For the spotters, he's basically referencing Anomie Theory, developed by the "Chicago School" of social scientists who studied gang culture in the interwar period in the US. Part of this went onto inform the people who developed the "Broken Windows" theory which in turn led to the Zero Tolerance strategies in New York.

    However, Bailey not only identifies the problems, he offers solutions. I hope somebody listens to him, I really do. I especially agree with his arguments about working class versus middle class drug use. Drugs is a class issue, and that liberal, white, middle class politicians are so soft on cannabis (etc) because their kids might take it with impunity really grips my sh*t.

    I'd vote for this bloke if he ran for any sort of public office.


    Quoted to add Shaun Bailey's comments on the ACF:

    Does anybody doubt the negative impact of the military "footprint" being withdrawn from urban areas? Spend the money being wasted on politically-correct initiatives on youth projects like the ACF that unambiguously teach values and integrity.
  3. old fashioned non PC stuff like army cadets and boxing clubs probably work better with young boys because at one level its macho and appeals to them.
    at a fundamental level its about self discipline which isn't very fashionable.
    can just see the "new improved version of the army cadets though"
    no drill or shouting might upset someone
    no guns for obvious
    an improved uniform that does'nt include boots as discrminatory
    and 72 pages risk assesment before any activity
    also your need a degree to work in the new "acf" :(
  4. completely different from the old ACF then? :?
  5. the ACF may well be suffering from an excess of red tape but I still think its slipped under the radar
    if it became the fashonable answer to youth problems.
    Unlikely too militaristic and demanding discipline and not very multcultural for council youth services.
    health and safetyand PC departments would kill everything attractive about it.
    uniform way too militarisitc
    rifles ohh no way
    drill how about interpartive dance instead etc etc
  6. My wife manages a youth inclusion project (YIP) in the north of England. It works with the top fifty most 'at risk*' young people between 13 and 16 (other agencies work with other age groups). Without going on at length about it, I can attest that in all but the hardest cases, early intervention can really make a difference in turning lives around.

    Some seemingly lost causes now have jobs (two to date in the army), some have re-entered education, and some have gone into other forms of training. There are many reasons why it works but one of the most important is that boundaries are set and adhered to. It's sometimes extremely difficult, but for some of these young people it's the first time they've had an easily understandable framework of rewards and sanctions within which to operate.

    YIPs are run by a number of agencies but the most successful are run on a shoestring by a charitable organisation called Crime Concern. It's my opinion that if there were more of these and fewer disabled black lesbian outreach drop-in centres, we might see some progress in halting youth crime.

    *'at risk' means at risk of offending, re-offending, being evicted or those who have been expelled from school.
  7. B_G_L thank you for posting that article and well done to the times for publishing it!

    I could not agree more with this chap! As with Veg I desperately hope that someone somewhere listens to him.

    Good find BGL!
  8. Well Lucky_Jim confirms that it doesn't need to be a military based organisation (prehaps they are better funded and staffed?) to do the work but its a shame that so many schools and families are unable to provide it. My dad always reckoned that most his teachers at school had military (wartime national service) backgrounds and they used to be able to work wonders pulling young lads into line - without corporal punishment I might add.

    As both flowers & veg say lets hope that this guy gets the message across to those in power and gets the funding for youth projects like Lucky_Jim refers too. My better half is a plod so I get to hear all about the little sods that like to make mischief on her patch. The youngsters that 'trouble with the law' works on are generally from upper working class/lower middle class backgrounds and it terrifies them into not reoffending. The younsters from 'sub' class backgrounds just notch it down to experience and learn from their solicters - they might not be able to read very well but they know to record the caution being recited on their mobile phones to get off if you say it wrong!

    Thanks for your insights Veg - very interesting.
  9. An excellent article, just a shame we don't see more like it.
    I got involved in something along these lines back in the early 1990s. I had heard of an ACF unit up in Middlesborough/Cleveland area that had been so successful in turning round some of the young thugs, that local juvenile crime rates had shown a very marked decrease.
    With permission from HQ ACF, I went up there to visit the unit. I particularly wanted to speak to any of the youngsters who had a juvenile crime record. "You'd be hard put to find one who hasn't," I was told.
    This particular unit was a bit special for a couple of reasons: 1) it was cap-badged Para. It was pointed out this was for a purpose. "If the little b*****s think they're hard, they ain't seen nothing yet" was one comment; and 2) because it was based on one of those so-called 'sink-estates' where, just the year before, there had been rioting in the streets, blue-light vehicles set ablaze, etc.
    What I found was amazing. There was this group of very smartly dressed youngsters on parade for a drill night. Two of them were scrubbing graffiti off the front door to the hut.
    A very smart junior SM took me around, and introduced me to a selection of the cadets. They all regaled me with their sorry tales of what they'd been done for: TWOCing was the most common offence.
    I then spoke to them individually and asked each what they liked most about being in the ACF. Without exception the first answer was 'the discipline'. We know where we stand.' They also pointed out they enjoyed the other activities, especially summer camps and getting out on the hills at weekends.
    I was particularly impressed with the junior SM. It was summer and they were in shirt-sleeve order. His shirt was a model of ironed perfection. "Who ironed your shirt, then," I asked him. "Your Mum?" "Nah, wouldn't trust her with it, do it meself." Outstanding.
    The same evening, the local Mayor made a visit to the unit. He was extremely pro the ACF, particularly having seen the effect just one unit had on the district. He told me he had even earmarked a part of the Mayor's fund to help finance some activities and, where there was real hardship in the family, to pay for boots, summer camps, weekend activities. He also told me that he had had some difficulty trying to persuade, shall we say the more ignorant, members of the public of the value of this, as their belief was the ACF would just arm the youngsters "and there'd be tanks rumbling down the High Street".
    Hats off, too, to the ACF Major I met. He was an ex-Cav Corporal, turned mounted copper - his then day job. All the ACF lads in the district knew him and knew what he did for a living: "So they know they'll be in real trouble if I catch them doing something wrong at a soccer match." He told me that juvenile crime rates on that estate were way down and there was a long waiting list to join the unit. "All the members there know that if they f*** up, they're out immediately, and there's loads of them to take the place. If they just want to fool around on drill nights, then we point them to the youth club over the road and tell them to get on over there."
    I wrote this up for one of the major newspapers, with the blessing of DLB, to point out the beneficial effect of ACF units. Did they publish? No!
  10. It's far eaiser to slag off the youth of today and the military than says something positive. The press ultimately just want to sell papers ans headlines like 'teenage thugs burn cars' is more likely to spark public outrage and sell more papers than 'Ex-teenage thugs turn lives agound'. Sad and wrong but true. I work as a volunteer instructor with my local cadets and some of them are a little rough around the edges, have been introuble with the law etc. but when given something constuctive to do, something challenging, they lap it up. It truely is a pleasure to instruct people who want to learn and are interested as opposed to people with no interest who have been sent there by their chain of command and aren't interested. Long live the ACF, that's what I say.
  11. I'm 15, and I am actually in one of these "ghetto" (or so my neighbours like to think) areas, and with my dad's mental illness I was classed as "at risk". There's such a project run by a bloke called simon, who's an ex-para and really big on fitness, and he's doing his damndest to get me up to scratch for the RAMC. (I'm trying hard too!)
    Day in and day out, I'm surrounded by "yoof" and the problem really is that their lives have been paid for by the taxpayer, they are quite simply unused to paying their own way. This creates a reliance learned throughout their childhood on taxpayer's money, and they expect to be able to buy an xbox, a 40" plasma tv, and any sort of "bling" they happen upon.

    We are not a lost cause, however, as with the right discipline instilled by the right people makes all the difference. Also, being the mixed race Jap/English mongrel I am, I've noticed a horrendous amount of government mandated coddeling aimed squarely at racial minorities, teaching these minorities that they can sponge for being more pigmented than their less so counterparts.

    What's more, I actually hate the fact that my family is on benefits (my father is "disabled" as he has severe bipolar disorder) and going to school with families who paid for everything they have, and to an extent, that I have, I've learned some humility and honesty from these encounters. I am not of working age yet, so maybe my sponger-shame is misplaced, however I intend to be of great benefit to society, and with these youth programs this is not so hard to envision.