MR PENDLE: Children involved in riots named and shamed?

THE recent riots in some of England’s cities were rightly condemned by the vast majority of people.

But while Mr Pendle found what happened to be appalling, he was almost as appalled at the reaction of some of the parents of those involved when their children - many who couldn’t have cared less about the hardship they had caused - were brought before the courts.

They seemed to think there was nothing wrong with the looting and torching of shops by their offspring, and the press who reported their court cases and sought a reaction received foul-mouthed abuse in reply.

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There is, of course, a reason for this - some of the parents themselves were not the most squeaky clean individuals themselves.

Home Secretary Theresa May has suggested those appearing before youth courts in connection with offences committed during the riots should be named and shamed - but Mr Pendle thinks that might be going a little too far for “one off” offenders caught up in the heat of the moment.

What might be worthy of consideration, however, is a tinkering with the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 which currently protects a juvenile’s identity along the lines of the “three strikes and you’re out” policy proposed by Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in 2008 for dealing with cannabis dealers.

This would work as follows.

A juvenile committing a first-time offence would be warned.

Any reoffending would result in a fine.

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And a third offence would result in the Act being waived to allow the miscreant to be named - but not necessarily sent to custody as cannabis dealers would have been under Ms Smith’s plans.

Whether such a move would be successful or not Mr Pendle has no idea - but isn’t it time something was done to let law-abiding people know who these thieves-of-the-future are?

A PLANNING application submitted to Pendle Council recently caught the eye of Mr Pendle.

Not because it was for anything controversial.

It was a minute detail included in the application which stood out - a 90cm high handrail to the side and rear of a building in Brierfield.

Mr Pendle’s curious mind began to tick overtime.

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His first thought was why it had to be 90cms high, and he envisaged teams of town hall engineering and planning officials visiting the house, tape measures and clipboards in hand, to ensure it was indeed 90cms from the ground, and not a centimetre or two higher at any point.

He then wondered what would happen if a discrepancy was found somewhere - would the applicant be forced to take it down and put it up again if it was found to be 89.5 cms or 90.5 cms high?

You could almost make a “Candid Camera” programme out of it with the bemused householder looking perplexed at bogus bureaucrat Jonathan Routh measuring his handrail’s height, couldn’t you?