The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Monday, July 04, 2005

They Did What?

I could hardly believe my eyes this morning when the front page of The Times claimed that one teenager in ten had carried a gun out of fear. My immediate reactions were twofold - a snort of derision, and then I hurled the paper onto the floor.

The report was such obvious nonsense that I have been looking out for some kind of source for it, and now, on the Murdoch (same chap who owns The Times) Sky News we have it. (heavily edited by me, my comments in italic)


One schoolboy in 10 has carried some kind of gun in the last year, according to a report on youth violence in London.

Some 1% of children had carried a real handgun, the research showed, but 6% had claimed to have fired one.

Police are "concerned" at the results gleaned from Hackney, Newham, Lambeth, Southwark, Brent and Haringey. (Six of the toughest and most violent inner-city boroughs in the country)

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Violent Crimes Bill which is currently going through Parliament contains new measures to ensure that police and local communities have the powers they need to tackle guns, knives and alcohol-related violence. (So this spurious story has been fed to a gullible press by the Home Office to reinforce its political agenda)

"In particular, the Bill proposes increasing from 17 to 18 the age for acquiring or possessing an air weapon without supervision and raising the minimum age at which a person can buy a knife from 16 to 18."
(Which will have no perceptible effect on the problem. The naivety of these proposals beggars belief).

So one percent of schoolboys in the six toughest boroughs in London 'claim' to have 'carried' a 'real' gun.

And that's the front page of the country's senior newspaper. The headline suggested that up to a million kids have gone about tooled up, and the reality is that a few hundred,or even a couple of thousand teenage boys have claimed to be dead hard - probably even more claimed to have shagged Billie Piper.

As they say in the USA - Puh-leeze!