Monday, August 15, 2011

Solving London riots: The answer has been found in Denmark

This month London and other cities in the United Kingdom were targeted by a large number of riots.

Behind the riots you find teenagers. It is a new generation of teenagers who have little respect for both society and parents. They have created their own sub-societies with their own set of laws, standards and codes.

Thousand of business are closed, people cannot even go out to buy food for their children, they cannot go to work. The society is basically coming to a stop.

How do you solve this?

The short-term option is to incarcerate them, but as they have discovered in the United States removing people from the society into various residential options is both costly and do not lower crime in the society in the long run.

Denmark have towns where they saw the same kind of problems on smaller scales. In Farum they hired the trouble makers to run a firm which rent boats out to tourists in a nearby lake. The result was an all time low in vandalism and other related crimes.

In the county of Egedal they gave wood to youths so they didn't destroy property well knowning that the youth then would sit down around the fire drinking beer. Then it was easy for the social workers to mingle among the youth and talk to them about future and education.

In Greve they had massive problems with fires. Youth set fire to waste putting people in the nearby houses in Denmark. Today they have a cadet corps where drop-outs and other youth with too much free time at hand can join the fire brigades as volunteers and be sent to various training exercises where they can get the adrenalin kick by trying to put out fires in a controlled environment. Vandalism has stopped.

Idleness is the root of all evil

For the population in the United Kingdom it is now the time to both demand action but also to put in some work in the local community.

Look around: Are there some activities in your local community you need manpower to solve? Can you get the fonds to get it fixed by hired the youth to do this manual labor? Can you get the local fire brigade to take teenagers to training fields for some weekends to teach them basic techniques to put out fires?

Can national services in a more civil form be brought back as a voluntary options where youth who have been given up by the present education system could be given a second chance to excel.

You cannot let teenagers drop out of school and engage in gang activities without suffering some kind of consequnces. We has as Danes learned it the hard way. Our prisons are on the verge of collapse after a gang war, which cost the lives of several persons - some not even involved in the war at all - bystanders who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

But the answer is not increased punishment. The answer is social work and jobs on the long haul.

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