16 August 2007
It is my view that the recent callous murders of upstanding citizens Garry Newlove and Evren Anil who stood up to anti-social youths indicate the almost complete failure of civilised society to enforce its will over a minority of criminals. One can only assume that those who perpetrated these and other murders had absolutely no compunction in using extreme, lethal violence. They were not deterred by the law or by the police and were obviously impervious to the moral outrage of ordinary law-abiding citizenry.
Clearly much more needs to be done on the 'causes of crime' side: improving the provision of youth facilities, increasing educational opportunities; tackling the availability of alcohol among the young. However, it is also imperative that the Government leads a national campaign against the use of physical violence within our society. This must be robust, thoughtful and radical. It will require the police, the courts, schools, social services and families to tackle, head on, violent behaviour among the young. Society as a whole and young people particularly, must know that the threat or use of any form of violence will be punished severely. Perhaps then violent tendancies will be dealt with at an early stage, before such behaviour results in the murder of innocent people. Perhaps then, people will be deterred from using violence as if they were a rampaging character in a computer game.