I’m glad he has decided to say something about this because I hate the way we tend to demonise all youngsters just because some groups of young men (and women) can seem intimidating.
One of the worst habits of modern politicians is to play up ‘threats’ in the hope of being seen as the white knight with the solution.
Blair and Bush have invested a great deal of time and effort to play up the threat of terrorism which, although real, is not really any greater here in the UK than it has been since the 1960’s.It is true to say that we Conservatives have also been guilty; during the 2005 election I was unhappy with the tone of some of our crime posters.
Gangs of young people hanging around on street corners can appear threatening, especially to old or single people and even more so late at night.
But it doesn’t help if the press and politicians between them have worked the public into a frenzy of fear based on a handful of shocking incidents of violence being blown out of all proportion.In the main we live in a safe place. Your chances of being mugged, robbed or violently attacked in Torbay by a stranger (hooded or otherwise) are absolutely miniscule. The Herald Express faithfully detail every incident and never have more than a handful each month - in a town of 140,000 people and 660,000 visitors.
You are probably more at risk of injury from an uneven paving slab than a hooded youth while walking round Torbay.