DEALING WITH DELINQUENTS

Am I the only one that thinks this is really serious?

Last week the West Lothian Herald and Post carried the headline “Rampage”. The story was about police warning vandals that their rampages through a county village is putting lives at risk.

Do you really think the thugs weren’t well aware of that?

And the Breich Valley councillor said she was “extremely concerned”, suggesting that parents ask if they knew what their children were up to on weekend evenings.

Like that’s going to happen.

Let’s get this straight. There were windows smashed, 21 cars vandalised and more than 20 wheelie bins set alight. But, more worryingly, 10 wheelie bins were torched outside an old folks’ home, and a piece of burning paper was shoved through the letterbox of a house.

Those activities are more than just something to be “concerned” about. Such actions need to be met with something other than the vain hope that some parent will ask their offspring what they’ve been up to – and get the truth. Vicious behaviour like this needs to be met with more than a warning or our concern.

In my book – and I suspect everybody else’s book – the fire-raising was attempted murder.

Honestly? I am surprised that there are not councillors hauling investigating officers before them and demanding they find who was responsible. I mean, it shouldn’t be too difficult. For a start, it happened over two weekends. Six or seven streets – the length of the entire village – were affected. Fire and smashing glass. There are surveillance cameras in the High Street, and the second incident happened in the early evening.

Are we to believe that nobody saw anything? Nobody heard anything? Despite the sound of windows being put in, these thugs were like ghosts?

Could it be that a group of youths descend on a village, set about causing mayhem, then sneak back out unobserved? What are we dealing with here – nutters or ninjas?

 And as for the Executive Councillor For Services For The Community “…using the Community Service Unit… working in the area to prevent further incidents.” Well, I don’t want the council doing that. I want a squad of burly polis tooled up with batons and Tazers on the case.

And once these little rascals are caught, I suggest we ship them off to Afghanistan where they can use their remarkable skills at operating without being detected in covert operations behind enemy lines. We’d soon find out then just how good their powers at remaining undetected are.

And you could be sure they would be treated with something more than just an appeal to their good nature.

Drew McAdam

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