IN calling for zero tolerance against the yobs who plague Scarborough, the Evening News has identified the solution precisely.
First of all, we need to assert that drunkenness, far from being an excuse for lawlessness, is simply not an acceptable condition for someone in a public place. There are laws against being drunk in public, and when these were enforced - as they once were - town centre streets throughout the country were safer, more welcoming places.
A few nights ago, the police were boasting in the Evening News that they had confiscated alcohol from under-age drinkers. Is that it? Is that supposed to impress us? Where did the youngsters obtain the alcohol? If someone sold it to them, are they being prosecuted? If someone bought it for them, are they being prosecuted? If the youngsters stole it, are they being prosecuted? If the police possess insufficient interview skills to obtain such information from children, we really have reached a desperate situation.
Secondly, when thugs such as the animal who battered a visitor so badly are apprehended, the penalties should be severe. Kicking someone in the head as he lies on the ground is the action of a cowardly, unprincipled thug. It can kill, and Joshua Scott clearly could not care about the level of injury that he caused. It would be unsafe to allow him to return to society for a lengthy period, and he should be locked up indefinitely, until and unless we can be confident that he is unlikely to maim anyone else.
We have a police force and courts. Let us see them restoring some discipline to our society, with a crackdown on even low-level offences, such as the use of foul language, which intimidates and distresses passers-by, and mars the quality of their lives.
Allow me to echo emphatically once more the Scarborough Evening News’s demand: Zero tolerance.