SAVE MONEY & ABOLISH THE YOUTH JUSTICE BOARD

Save money and scrap the ineffective Youth Justice Board. This Labour quango has cost the Public Purse huge sums of money and achieved very little except provide generous salaries to its management.

The youth Justice Board functions should be handed back to the Ministry of Justice asap and save us money.

Why is this idea important?

Save money and scrap the ineffective Youth Justice Board. This Labour quango has cost the Public Purse huge sums of money and achieved very little except provide generous salaries to its management.

The youth Justice Board functions should be handed back to the Ministry of Justice asap and save us money.

Expunge the past criminal records for youthful misdemenours.

Criminal records are held on people whose offending stopped when they were still young. Many have committed no offences for 30-40-50 years, but an unforgiving state never forgets and never allows them to forget either.

Many were given Borstal, Detention Centre and even prison, for offences which would never attract a custodial sentence today. In fact there are youths today who have committed far, far more serious crimes than these youths of yesteryear and yet they have no criminal record.

Many of these people have gone on to become very industrious and successful, yet, they dare not apply to be school governors, or stand for election on the local council because their past will be dragged up and they have spent years trying to live it down. Can they become an MP for one of the major parties?

Not a chance, yet their "criminal records" are in many cases almost laughable in the realm of crime.

It isn't fair and the problem should be addressed.

Clearly some offences could not be expunged from the record….sexual crimes, offences of violence, carrying firearms and so on. In such cases there is a real reason to keep the record. But do stealing a bike, breaking a window, driving without a licence or throwing stones at aeroplanes really warrant the resources and facilities used to keep them.

Keep it if it is relevant and dump it if it isn't. Make sure that the threshold for relevant is set fairly high. Make the decision on the crime committed, not the sentence received, which are more and more severe the longer ago it happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Criminal records are held on people whose offending stopped when they were still young. Many have committed no offences for 30-40-50 years, but an unforgiving state never forgets and never allows them to forget either.

Many were given Borstal, Detention Centre and even prison, for offences which would never attract a custodial sentence today. In fact there are youths today who have committed far, far more serious crimes than these youths of yesteryear and yet they have no criminal record.

Many of these people have gone on to become very industrious and successful, yet, they dare not apply to be school governors, or stand for election on the local council because their past will be dragged up and they have spent years trying to live it down. Can they become an MP for one of the major parties?

Not a chance, yet their "criminal records" are in many cases almost laughable in the realm of crime.

It isn't fair and the problem should be addressed.

Clearly some offences could not be expunged from the record….sexual crimes, offences of violence, carrying firearms and so on. In such cases there is a real reason to keep the record. But do stealing a bike, breaking a window, driving without a licence or throwing stones at aeroplanes really warrant the resources and facilities used to keep them.

Keep it if it is relevant and dump it if it isn't. Make sure that the threshold for relevant is set fairly high. Make the decision on the crime committed, not the sentence received, which are more and more severe the longer ago it happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More widespread legal graffiti walls

I am a street artist, and professional graphic designer. I take pride in the fact that I harbor the skill to create beautiful street art, and enjoy doing so publicly. I teach workshops occasionally underneath the Southbank Centre where there is indeed a legal graffiti wall.

My idea is that to introduce more legal graffiti walls in the UK which are accessible to all. Graffiti is a form of art, and even though there are mindless vandals scrawling obscenities on the walls nationwide, why not give them an opportunity to try and learn to create art in secluded areas.

I can understand that the government seems to assume graffiti artists are mostly vandals with drug problems, however, this is just an old stereotype that needs to be addressed.

Why is this idea important?

I am a street artist, and professional graphic designer. I take pride in the fact that I harbor the skill to create beautiful street art, and enjoy doing so publicly. I teach workshops occasionally underneath the Southbank Centre where there is indeed a legal graffiti wall.

My idea is that to introduce more legal graffiti walls in the UK which are accessible to all. Graffiti is a form of art, and even though there are mindless vandals scrawling obscenities on the walls nationwide, why not give them an opportunity to try and learn to create art in secluded areas.

I can understand that the government seems to assume graffiti artists are mostly vandals with drug problems, however, this is just an old stereotype that needs to be addressed.

Legalise kissing between under-16s

Incredibly, sections 9(1)(b), 13(1) and 78 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 collectively make any sort of "sexual touching" between consenting under-16s illegal.  This includes entirely normal and innocuous activities such as kissing.

What sort of society would do this?  It is quite an extraordinary and shockingly repressive piece of legislation.

"Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime."

Why is this idea important?

Incredibly, sections 9(1)(b), 13(1) and 78 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 collectively make any sort of "sexual touching" between consenting under-16s illegal.  This includes entirely normal and innocuous activities such as kissing.

What sort of society would do this?  It is quite an extraordinary and shockingly repressive piece of legislation.

"Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime."

Stop ‘child labour’ legislation from restricting teenagers’ right to work

Child labour laws were initially brought in to protect children from the kinds of working environments that no longer legally exist in this country.  They are now overbearing and prevent people who want to work from working, when it would be hugely beneficial to them to do so.

All restrictions of the employment of 16/17 year olds should be fully lifted, as should the restrictions on the number of hours 14/15 year olds can work during school holidays and at weekends.

In addition, 13 year olds should be able to work for up to 20 hours a week during school holidays and 5 hours a week during term time, and 12 year olds up to 10 hours a week during the school holidays.

Why is this idea important?

Child labour laws were initially brought in to protect children from the kinds of working environments that no longer legally exist in this country.  They are now overbearing and prevent people who want to work from working, when it would be hugely beneficial to them to do so.

All restrictions of the employment of 16/17 year olds should be fully lifted, as should the restrictions on the number of hours 14/15 year olds can work during school holidays and at weekends.

In addition, 13 year olds should be able to work for up to 20 hours a week during school holidays and 5 hours a week during term time, and 12 year olds up to 10 hours a week during the school holidays.

Amend all ‘child protection’ legislation so that it does not apply to teenagers

Teenagers are no longer little, sweet children who need mollycoddling and protecting as though they are still toddlers.  They are adolescents, who are in the process of turning into adults and thus need to learn to behave as adults and be guided into the adult world. 

Protecting them as ‘children’ encourages rebellion, as they are prevented from doing anything vaguely exciting, risky or grown up, or from taking any responsibility for themselves and so turn instead to illicit and often particularly dangerous thrills such as trespassing on railway lines, drug abuse or joy riding.

Teenage boys in particular, when treated like weaklings and starved of risk, danger, competition and responsibility are prone to acting ‘macho’ and being violent in order to prove they are tough and strong enough to be a ‘real man’.

Treating teenagers as ‘children’ also prevents them from gaining the vital skills and qualities required to face the real world, leaving those who do not rebel ill-equipped to face the challenges adult life when they are finally thrown out into the real world at 18 and suddenly told they are different now because they are an ‘adult’.

All ‘child protection’ legislation should therefore be amended so that it only applies to those aged under 13 years, as it does more harm than good when applied to teenagers.

Why is this idea important?

Teenagers are no longer little, sweet children who need mollycoddling and protecting as though they are still toddlers.  They are adolescents, who are in the process of turning into adults and thus need to learn to behave as adults and be guided into the adult world. 

Protecting them as ‘children’ encourages rebellion, as they are prevented from doing anything vaguely exciting, risky or grown up, or from taking any responsibility for themselves and so turn instead to illicit and often particularly dangerous thrills such as trespassing on railway lines, drug abuse or joy riding.

Teenage boys in particular, when treated like weaklings and starved of risk, danger, competition and responsibility are prone to acting ‘macho’ and being violent in order to prove they are tough and strong enough to be a ‘real man’.

Treating teenagers as ‘children’ also prevents them from gaining the vital skills and qualities required to face the real world, leaving those who do not rebel ill-equipped to face the challenges adult life when they are finally thrown out into the real world at 18 and suddenly told they are different now because they are an ‘adult’.

All ‘child protection’ legislation should therefore be amended so that it only applies to those aged under 13 years, as it does more harm than good when applied to teenagers.

Remove the right to anonymity of 16/17 year olds convicted of crimes

Amend the law that currently provides special legal protection to all under 18s convicted of crimes so that it only applies to those under the age of 16.

By the age of 16, somebody is more than mature enough to face the full consequences of their actions.  The law should reflect this. 

The law as it stands means that the press are prevented from revealing the identity of a 16/17 year old convicted criminal unless the Judge presiding over the case specifically lifts their anonymity.  The result of this is that the media report that ‘A 16 year old, who can not be named for legal reasons has been convicted of …’.  This tarnishes the reputation of all 16 year olds, even though the vast majority would never dream of committing the crime that that individual 16 year old has been convicted of committing, as it gives the impression that:

(a) It could be any 16 year old who has done it, and

(b) There is a likelihood that any 16 year old might commit a similar crime. 

This is not the case.

As with any other age group, the vast majority of criminal offences are committed by a very small minority.  This small minority should be forced to take full responsibility for their actions. 

Why is this idea important?

Amend the law that currently provides special legal protection to all under 18s convicted of crimes so that it only applies to those under the age of 16.

By the age of 16, somebody is more than mature enough to face the full consequences of their actions.  The law should reflect this. 

The law as it stands means that the press are prevented from revealing the identity of a 16/17 year old convicted criminal unless the Judge presiding over the case specifically lifts their anonymity.  The result of this is that the media report that ‘A 16 year old, who can not be named for legal reasons has been convicted of …’.  This tarnishes the reputation of all 16 year olds, even though the vast majority would never dream of committing the crime that that individual 16 year old has been convicted of committing, as it gives the impression that:

(a) It could be any 16 year old who has done it, and

(b) There is a likelihood that any 16 year old might commit a similar crime. 

This is not the case.

As with any other age group, the vast majority of criminal offences are committed by a very small minority.  This small minority should be forced to take full responsibility for their actions. 

BRING BACK NATIONAL SERVICE

When young adults leave school if they don't continue into full time education and attend regular or secure full time employment, then they should do 3 years in the army, where they can learn a trade and some much needed discipline.

Why is this idea important?

When young adults leave school if they don't continue into full time education and attend regular or secure full time employment, then they should do 3 years in the army, where they can learn a trade and some much needed discipline.

16 and 17 year olds & the Sexual Offences Act 2003

Repeal of Part 1, Section 45, Clauses 1 and 2, and related

This section extends the definition of "child" from the Protection of Children Act (1978) to cover persons of 16 and 17 years. This age group is thereby covered by child pornography laws in the aforementioned 1978 act and elsewhere. It is thusly illegal to make "indecent" images of 16 and 17 year olds (or indeed in most cases for 16 and 17 year olds to make such images of themselves.) [The term "indecent" is undefined in law.]

The main problem with this legislation is that it is logically and morally incompatible with the age of sexual consent being 16 years. A recording or depiction of a lawful act should not be unlawful; neither should persons who are legally recognised as sexual beings – and therefore adults in that regard – be prohibited from recording or depicting themselves, or consenting to be recorded or depicted, as sexual beings. While the motivation behind the extension of protection to 16 and 17 year olds was well-meaning, it does not make rational or moral sense that an image or recording of a person with whom one can legally have sexual intercourse should be legally defined as "child pornography". The protection of children and young people from exploitation is paramount to a just and decent society; however, the laws by which we live our lives should also make a modicum of sense. This inconsistency in the legislation could alternatively be rectified equally well by raising the age of sexual consent to 18.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal of Part 1, Section 45, Clauses 1 and 2, and related

This section extends the definition of "child" from the Protection of Children Act (1978) to cover persons of 16 and 17 years. This age group is thereby covered by child pornography laws in the aforementioned 1978 act and elsewhere. It is thusly illegal to make "indecent" images of 16 and 17 year olds (or indeed in most cases for 16 and 17 year olds to make such images of themselves.) [The term "indecent" is undefined in law.]

The main problem with this legislation is that it is logically and morally incompatible with the age of sexual consent being 16 years. A recording or depiction of a lawful act should not be unlawful; neither should persons who are legally recognised as sexual beings – and therefore adults in that regard – be prohibited from recording or depicting themselves, or consenting to be recorded or depicted, as sexual beings. While the motivation behind the extension of protection to 16 and 17 year olds was well-meaning, it does not make rational or moral sense that an image or recording of a person with whom one can legally have sexual intercourse should be legally defined as "child pornography". The protection of children and young people from exploitation is paramount to a just and decent society; however, the laws by which we live our lives should also make a modicum of sense. This inconsistency in the legislation could alternatively be rectified equally well by raising the age of sexual consent to 18.

Help for 16 – 21 year old’s seeking work

Allow youngsters on the dole to be able to accept short time work for say 6 weeks, to be able to get back on the dole when that work dries up, without having to wait the customry 26 weeks or whatever the period is now.    It may mean that they are given a job at the end of the 6 weeks ( or whatever time), but because they are penalised for taking short time work they are scared to go off the dole for short periods.

Why is this idea important?

Allow youngsters on the dole to be able to accept short time work for say 6 weeks, to be able to get back on the dole when that work dries up, without having to wait the customry 26 weeks or whatever the period is now.    It may mean that they are given a job at the end of the 6 weeks ( or whatever time), but because they are penalised for taking short time work they are scared to go off the dole for short periods.

Stop demonising young people by ASBOs and mosquitos

The ultrasonic mosquito device used to move teenagers away from particular places should be banned as it clearly infinges the human rights of a whole category of people with no reference to their good or bad behaviour.

Likewise the use of ASBOs as a shaming punishment (imposed without the need to secure conviction through the courts) and the publicising with photographs even of children under 16 goes against natural justice and is more likely to result in boasting in notority than in reformation of behaviour.  Restricting people from entering certain areas may stop them receiving help and merely displace bad behaviour to other places.

Why is this idea important?

The ultrasonic mosquito device used to move teenagers away from particular places should be banned as it clearly infinges the human rights of a whole category of people with no reference to their good or bad behaviour.

Likewise the use of ASBOs as a shaming punishment (imposed without the need to secure conviction through the courts) and the publicising with photographs even of children under 16 goes against natural justice and is more likely to result in boasting in notority than in reformation of behaviour.  Restricting people from entering certain areas may stop them receiving help and merely displace bad behaviour to other places.

Require businesses to create entry-level jobs

Businesses should be required to have at least 5% of positions in their companies set aside for people without experience in the sector. This can be 5% rounded down, so companies with under 20 workers would not be affected, companies with 20 – 39 employees would need to have one position etc.

Why is this idea important?

Businesses should be required to have at least 5% of positions in their companies set aside for people without experience in the sector. This can be 5% rounded down, so companies with under 20 workers would not be affected, companies with 20 – 39 employees would need to have one position etc.

Education and the creative use of cannabis

Because it's illegal, it isn't possible to educate people into its safe and positive uses.

Drug use is not the same as drug abuse.

There are many who do know how to use it well, for relaxation, fun, pain relief, and to aid the states of imaginative concentration so valuable to musicians, artists and software designers (without it, we probably wouldn't have personal computers or the internet). 

There are others who out of ignorance mix their drugs and dangerously lose control.

There are yet others who out of ignorance, fear and bigotry insist on enforcing irrational control on normal people.

The substance is a hypnotic.  It restores natural sensitivity to whatever you're up to, expanding your awareness of that and letting you turn the rest of the world down.

If all you do is smoke and then watch TV, of course you go psychotic, because that's the way of the Media, to terrify people into accepting control and buying more stuff.

If you know smoking it makes you into a criminal, you feel more and more excluded from society.

The alternative is to learn how to use it well, which depends on a freedom to educate.

Why is this idea important?

Because it's illegal, it isn't possible to educate people into its safe and positive uses.

Drug use is not the same as drug abuse.

There are many who do know how to use it well, for relaxation, fun, pain relief, and to aid the states of imaginative concentration so valuable to musicians, artists and software designers (without it, we probably wouldn't have personal computers or the internet). 

There are others who out of ignorance mix their drugs and dangerously lose control.

There are yet others who out of ignorance, fear and bigotry insist on enforcing irrational control on normal people.

The substance is a hypnotic.  It restores natural sensitivity to whatever you're up to, expanding your awareness of that and letting you turn the rest of the world down.

If all you do is smoke and then watch TV, of course you go psychotic, because that's the way of the Media, to terrify people into accepting control and buying more stuff.

If you know smoking it makes you into a criminal, you feel more and more excluded from society.

The alternative is to learn how to use it well, which depends on a freedom to educate.

Teenage Discrimination

As part of Teenagers Against Discrimination, i feel it only right to point a few obvious breaches of civil liberties towards Teenagers that is often overlooked.

 

Firstly, the infamous debate over the Mosquito Alarms. For anyone under a certain age to be submitted to an annoying, high pitch sound is a removal of our civil liberties, and it has also been argued (quite rightly in my opinion) that is even a breach of our human rights – why shouldnt we be able to walk down a public street hastle free? who decided that i or any other teenager was a potential criminal that deserved physical punishment?

 

The second point i would like to raise is the police power of stop and search. it is without doubt this power is used reguarly on teenagers ; as it is presumed we will be carrying a weapon or drugs. once again, this is a breach of our civil liberties – why should the police have the right to stop us and search us purely based on the opinion they have made by looking at us. what is that old phrase, can't judge a book by it's cover?

I know it can be argued that if you have nothing to hide, you shuldnt object to being searched… but think about it! we are on about the police stopping you wherever they like and asking you to empty your pockets. it is highly degrading and embarassing. at the very least, every passe rby during this immeadiately presumes you are a criminal. the next time they see you… what will they think? what will they remember? that's right – that you're the person that the police like to stop.

Why is this idea important?

As part of Teenagers Against Discrimination, i feel it only right to point a few obvious breaches of civil liberties towards Teenagers that is often overlooked.

 

Firstly, the infamous debate over the Mosquito Alarms. For anyone under a certain age to be submitted to an annoying, high pitch sound is a removal of our civil liberties, and it has also been argued (quite rightly in my opinion) that is even a breach of our human rights – why shouldnt we be able to walk down a public street hastle free? who decided that i or any other teenager was a potential criminal that deserved physical punishment?

 

The second point i would like to raise is the police power of stop and search. it is without doubt this power is used reguarly on teenagers ; as it is presumed we will be carrying a weapon or drugs. once again, this is a breach of our civil liberties – why should the police have the right to stop us and search us purely based on the opinion they have made by looking at us. what is that old phrase, can't judge a book by it's cover?

I know it can be argued that if you have nothing to hide, you shuldnt object to being searched… but think about it! we are on about the police stopping you wherever they like and asking you to empty your pockets. it is highly degrading and embarassing. at the very least, every passe rby during this immeadiately presumes you are a criminal. the next time they see you… what will they think? what will they remember? that's right – that you're the person that the police like to stop.

Repeal the Child Poverty Act 2010

Scrap this unnecessary legislation. Children do not have their own income on the whole, nor can they own property. Their relative wealth or poverty is intrinsically tied up with that of their parents, and so the real issue is family or household poverty. The term "child poverty" is almost Dickensian in it's sentimentality and the whole issue seems to be one of PR and vote winning rather than any sensible, necessary measure.

Why is this idea important?

Scrap this unnecessary legislation. Children do not have their own income on the whole, nor can they own property. Their relative wealth or poverty is intrinsically tied up with that of their parents, and so the real issue is family or household poverty. The term "child poverty" is almost Dickensian in it's sentimentality and the whole issue seems to be one of PR and vote winning rather than any sensible, necessary measure.

Penal option to prison

Young offenders should be given the option to reduce their sentence by serving in penal regiments that perform garrison behind front-line troops or ‘works’ for the benefit of the public

Why is this idea important?

Young offenders should be given the option to reduce their sentence by serving in penal regiments that perform garrison behind front-line troops or ‘works’ for the benefit of the public

Remove the DNA of juveniles given cautions, reprimands or final warnings

The DNA samples, and computerized DNA profiles, of children under the age of 17, arrested and handed cautions, reprimands or final warnings (but not charged, and therefore who never appeared in court or convicted of any offense), should be either removed at age 18 or kept for six years (whichever is longer). 

Cautions, reprimands and final warnings are not convictions and therefore, keeping the DNA profiles of juveniles who have been handed them is wrong. 

Why is this idea important?

The DNA samples, and computerized DNA profiles, of children under the age of 17, arrested and handed cautions, reprimands or final warnings (but not charged, and therefore who never appeared in court or convicted of any offense), should be either removed at age 18 or kept for six years (whichever is longer). 

Cautions, reprimands and final warnings are not convictions and therefore, keeping the DNA profiles of juveniles who have been handed them is wrong. 

Equalising ages

It seems ridiculous that the age of consent in the United Kingdom is currently 16, but the age at which people can view pornography is 18. This essentially means that for two years, a person can engage in sexual activity legally, but not view sexual activity.

This seems insane

Why is this idea important?

It seems ridiculous that the age of consent in the United Kingdom is currently 16, but the age at which people can view pornography is 18. This essentially means that for two years, a person can engage in sexual activity legally, but not view sexual activity.

This seems insane