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Boy, 15, wins curfew legal battle

From BBC News: Boy, 15, wins curfew legal battle

A 15-year-old boy has won a landmark High Court challenge to the legality of child curfew zones used to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The teenager said the use of dispersal zones in Richmond, south-west London, breached his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Unaccompanied under-16s found in zones after 9pm can be held and escorted home, whether badly behaved or not.

A Home Office spokeswoman said dispersal zones already in place and future applications were unaffected by the judgment.
“These powers provide the police with a powerful tool to tackle intimidation and anti-social behaviour by groups of people,” she said.
“Whilst not limited to young people, ‘teenagers hanging around’ is a big cause of concern to the public as cited in the British Crime Survey.”

It’s an absolute disgrace that the country has come to such a point of paranoia that simply because someone is scared of someone else acting in a perfectly normal way, the government feels it’s fine to restrain the liberty of people who’ve committed no crime.

And of course there are laws which cover threatening and abusive behaviour. But the government is reluctant to use them as this would push up the crime figures – something that can’t be allowed.

I grew up on a council estate where gangs of kids would hang around on street corners all the time. Adults weren’t afraid of them, because there wasn’t the climate of fear around – encouraged by irresponsible reporting in the papers and irresponsible politicians seeing electoral advantage.

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