Oh, Another Report That Tells Us What We Already Know!

Children commit crime because they lack morals and not just because of the environment they live in, according to a study carried out by local researchers which has now been finalised by Paige, a representative for Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Really? Well, I never! Who’da thunk it? *continue ad infinitum*

Researchers studied around 600 young people in Bristol and discovered that most adolescent crime is not just youthful opportunism.

In fact, while it is agreed that urban environments trigger some young people to commit crime, it is their morality which is the biggest factor.

Other teenagers remain highly resistant to committing crime – regardless of the circumstances.

We’ve always known this. It’s not a surprise, nor a shock.

However, it seems to have come as an unwelcome shock to poor dear Paige, who seems a bit confused about just who she’s meant to be representing…

Paige, from Downend, said: “I am aware that crime is on the rise, but I was overwhelmed by these shocking results.”

“After liaising with youths living in the area of Fishponds, I understood some were committing crimes due to ‘lack of entertainment’. After many discussions and petitions, a new Community Hall is in the process of being built, which will hold a number of activities and events.”

Well, Paige, sweetie, now you know your ‘understanding’ was flawed, and these little wee scamps were not depraved on account of they were deprived after all.

How do you feel now? Like a prize chump, I’d imagine?

“Society lectures children and young people about how well behaved they should be, but it’s not behaving in a way that warrants respect.”

Oh. I guess that’s ‘No’, then? I guess you’re just too dense.

Luckily for you, you’ll never need to face the inevitable product of attitudes like yours, though. Your colleagues won’t be so lucky.


13 comments for “Oh, Another Report That Tells Us What We Already Know!

  1. September 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    How long, I wonder, would it take for this amazing revelation to percolate through the ranks of progressive education lecturers and head teachers – oops, sorry; head learners – assuming any of them could actually be persuaded to accept its validity?

    And I wonder what this man makes of it:


  2. September 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I was feeling Ok until Macheath mentioned “progressive education lecturers and head teachers”. Now I feel sick.

  3. Tatty
    September 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Children commit crime because they lack morals

    Here we go again.

    1) – “Children” commit crime because they can.

    2) – “Behaviour” is an entirely different thing to “criminal act”.

    3) – “Society” has Laws. USE THEM.


    • Mudplugger
      September 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      An interesting example is the huge increase in under-age pregnancy.

      Every case of sub-16 pregnancy is the result of a crime. Since the availability of DNA techniques, the task of establishing both parties to that crime is now a doddle, even for our intellectually-challenged Plod.

      Yet ‘society’ seems to have decreed that it would rather enjoy tabloid photos of Kylie (12) cuddling her new mewling offspring than pursue the crime which gave rise to that photo-opportunity.

      With that as an example, is it any wonder that less substantial crimes, behaviours and misdemeanours go completely unreported or unremarked. And can we blame the kids for the message they are getting ?

      • Tatty
        September 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

        Yep that’s a very good example of the mixed messages we give “children”.

        My daughter’s boyfriend, herself and I had a conversation on the legalities of underage sex ending with me advising them both “I don’t care what the law says… I’ll just chop it off”.

        Did the “snip-snip” thing with two fingers and laid down my own law.

        To this lovely well-mannered and polite boy I’m far scarier than any policeman 😉

        • September 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

          Tatty, I wish I had you here to teach PSHE lessons!

          Alas, I think the management might object…

          Mudplugger, it is, one might argue, a ‘gateway’ crime; perusal of the archived court reports (or the opus of our own dear Julia) yields plenty of evidence of the correlation between under-age pregnancy and subsequent involvement in crime.

          • September 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

            Apologies if I’m misreading anybody but it looks as if there is a possible misinterpretation.

            Pregnant Kylie commits no criminal act in respect of herself. Not at any age, nor is pregnancy a crime. It is only evidence of either rape or unlawful sexual intercourse, depending on Kylie’s age. It isn’t possible to have ‘both parties to the crime’ investigated because only one party is at fault in respect of the pregnancy and it isn’t Kylie.

            However, it is possible (depending on ages) for Kylie to commit a sexual offence against her partner, even though they are both 15 and both giving effective consent.

            This is because the Sexual Offences Act 2003 applies to both sexes and makes very few concessions to biology. Thus it is possible that two snogging 15 year olds at the prom are both able to be on the Sex Offenders’ Register since neither of them can rely on the consent of the other to provide an effective defence.

            This is why the CPS has to put warning signs up about dis-applying the law. At the risk of pedantry, being pregnant isn’t a ‘gateway crime’; it isn’t a crime at all.

            • September 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm

              mea culpa – lazy phrasing; I meant to suggest that a pregnancy resulting from intercourse with a girl under 16 may be more likely to contribute to the manifestation of – or vulnerability to – criminal behaviour for both parents and child.

            • Mudplugger
              September 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm

              I bow to superior knowledge on the intricate details of various Acts. However, the point I make is that we have a legal Age of Consent which has not, to my knowledge, ever been repealed. Therefore, any pregnancy occuring in a girl under the age of 16 demonstrates that law having been broken (prima facie, I believe you call it). And we now have the technology to prove guilt.

              The fact that this event generally does not result in prosecution, rather in celebration, sets an example to young people that we’re not really serious about our laws. If it’s OK to ignore that one, then why should they worry about any others ?

              I don’t claim that under-age sex becomes a ‘gateway’ for that couple then to engage in other law-breaking, but the knowledge that such obvious offences usually go unpunished creates a widespread sense among the young that other laws will be similarly flexible in their application, hence the likelihood of their disregarding them.

              • September 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

                Absolutely, but it is a question of what public policy you wish to emphasize.

                The penalty includes registration as a sex offender but there is a danger of trivializing sex-crimes by lumping them in with activity of which we might not approve but is not abusive in the sense of lacking consent.

                The 2003 Act was written more to prohibit abusive behaviour, while the fragment of law which governs the specific situation here, section 6 Sexual Offences Act 1956, prohibits behavior we don’t want going on, even if it is consensual. That is, the consent may exist but it cannot be relied on in law.

                The blanket public understanding of ‘hands off if under 16’ worked reasonably well until the early 80s when Mrs Gillick unfortunately asked a highly specific legal question which she was bound to lose. The court could only rule that a doctor must be free to act without the knowledge of a parent if that was the best way to protect a child. The upshot of the case was to weaken the public protocol of the age of consent and push it back to 13 in many cases. I think this was bound to happen anyway, genies just don’t go back in bottles.

                This has even confused judges; we have had situations where the legal age is 16 but the de facto age is 13 and it gets complicated, trying to decide what to do for the best.

                There was one case of false accusation of rape, resulting in a charge – and conviction – of perverting the course of justice by a 15 year old girl.

                The judge – of a colonial background who didn’t seem able to understand English law and applied jirga rules – failed to understand that the CPS had tried to run their own public policy about false accusations but had not taken the ages in to account. They had prioritised perverting the course of justice over unlawful sexual intercourse, choosing to prosecute one but not the other.

                The situation was that the 14 year old boy had unlawful sexual intercourse contrary to s.6 of the 1956 Act. The 15 year old girl had unlawful sexual activity with the 14 year old boy contrary to s.13 of the 2003 Act, and both of them had committed possible offences against the spectators who were minors and should not have been made to watch. In turn, the spectators might have committed offences under s.67, voyeurism, but possibly not, since it is usually absurd to be both the victim and the perpetrator.

                The whole thing should have been a puzzle case in an exam, not in a court. You may well argue the girl should have faced censure for making a false rape claim, but there was nothing false about the crime which actually occurred – having unlawful intercourse with a girl under the age of 16, which was never charged (so far as I know). The judge seemed to think the presence of consent was a knock-down argument for why the rape allegation was false, but this fails to grasp that her consent only changes the charge and the act, not the illegality of the act in the first place. It never was up to the 15 year old to decide if she had been raped in law; she just made a complaint which then appears to have been investigated by people who can’t be bothered to read their own charging manual.

            • Tatty
              September 23, 2012 at 1:57 am

              WOAR – “ only one party is at fault in respect of the *(crime of a male of any age having sex with an underage girl that may result in)* pregnancy and it isn’t Kylie.

              I slipped in a bit extra there purely in the interests of pedantry and to lead to question….not even as “an accessory” in the commission of a crime ?

              • September 24, 2012 at 8:29 am

                No, not even as an accessory. That question was asked early on:
                The legislation is to provide protection for young girls. An underage female cannot be prosecuted as an accessory to the offence committed by a male who has unlawful intercourse with her (R v Tyrrell 1894 1 Q.B. 710). CPS guidance.

                The legal minefield of criminalising consent for public policy reasons has unintended consequences. It introduces more gaming of a system where an aggressor can take a chance, knowing that the complainant will face not just being a witness but also the possibility of being criminalized themselves if they lose the case.

                This was one of the reasons that homosexuality was rightly decriminalized, and why the misunderstanding of the phrase ‘age of consent’ is important.

                Abusers of all persuasions have told victims that they must shut up and take it as they are now parties to criminal acts, which does nothing to reduce offending.

  4. September 22, 2012 at 3:39 am

    From wikipedia I learn that Avon and Somerset’s “Paige” has a name that can be given to males and females. So I would like to congratulate this constabulary, sorry force, for its fight against institutionalised transsexualophobia.

    I would also like to praise the use of the “representative for” expression, as it demonstrates the diversity of syntax so prized by the more, well, diverse sections of the community. As a modern teacher I would compare it with my gangsta rap translation of Macbeth.

    It fact it’s almost as good as “different creative”, as used by Strathclyde Police, the Queen of Scottish constabularies, sorry forces. Here they are bending over backwards, sorry forwards, to implement cohesion, if you catch my, well, drift –


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