Huge backing for naming and shaming yobs

WE MUST be able to name and shame them.That is the firm stance taken by the majority of Evening Star readers who have made it clear that we should reveal the identity of two Ipswich youths.

By Nick Richards

By NICK RICHARDS

nick.richards@eveningstar.co.uk

WE MUST be able to name and shame them.


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That is the firm stance taken by the majority of Evening Star readers who have made it clear that we should reveal the identity of two Ipswich youths.

On Saturday, our front page carried the story of the two teenagers who admitted in youth court that they had damaged a number of vehicles in Ipswich.

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We pictured the two baseball-capped youths leaving the court on the front page with their faces obscured, partially by a large black square we included to mask their identity, and partially by a two-fingered gesture directed at our photographer and law and order.

A poll on our website (www.eveningstar.co.uk) has shown that nine in every ten people think we should name the two troublemakers.

Star readers have written in with their own views on teenagers who commit crimes like this.

"Old enough to do the crime, old enough to be named" one said.

An elderly woman reader said: "They know what they're doing and the courts are too soft on them. I say bring back the birch, but even that's too good for them."

Another reader agreed, saying: "They should be named along with their parents names and they should also be birched. That is the only deterrent. Let's get rid of them and get our town back to a law-abiding town."

A male reader said youngsters such as these were letting the whole country down. He said: "They should be punished and their parents should be fined. We fought a war to rid the world of this sort of scum – no wonder the world thinks so badly of the British."

A female reader wrote to Home Secretary, David Blunkett, about the naming of young offenders. She said the reply she had was far from satisfactory, but part of the reply did say lifting restrictions may be appropriate where the offending is persistent or serious or has impacted on a large number of people.

It was October 22 last year when the pair damaged four vehicles on Bader Close and Lindbergh Road in the Priory Heath area of Ipswich. An Ipswich Borough Council Mercedes van, a Renault, a Vauxhall Astra and a Ford Granada were all attacked. More than £1,000 of damage was caused.

The two youths will be sentenced in August, but because of their age, they continue to be protected from the public shame that should rightly be theirs.

The Star verbally requested a lifting of the ban on identification – Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act of 1933 – this has been recorded by the court.

When the pair of louts return to court on August 8 for sentencing this request will be formalised in writing before South East Suffolk magistrates.

n What do you think? Should the Evening Star be allowed to name and shame these two teenage criminals? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN or e-mail: EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.

co.uk . Alternatively, log on to www.eveningstar.co.uk and add your vote to our poll.

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