Mayor says send yobs to boot camp'

PUBLISHED: 10:40 30 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:17 06 May 2010

Mayor of Shefford Paul Mackin

Mayor of Shefford Paul Mackin

A MAYOR has slammed vandals in his town, calling them yobs who need to be sent to a boot camp to make them suffer for their crimes . Shefford mayor Paul Mackin has urged the tough line after a spate of vandalism in the town. He writes in the winter editi

A MAYOR has slammed vandals in his town, calling them 'yobs who need to be sent to a boot camp to make them suffer for their crimes'.

Shefford mayor Paul Mackin has urged the tough line after a spate of vandalism in the town.

He writes in the winter edition of the Shefford Newsline magazine: "I know it has been reported in the press that it is unkind to call these people yobs as it upsets them. That's tough. Until a more descriptive name is allocated to them, they're yobs.

"Suggestions of how to deal with these yobs have varied between sitting them down and talking to them and explaining how much their behaviour costs the community in money and resources to running a zero tolerance scheme and introducing them to detention programmes at an early stage.

"There are problems with either of these extremes. But something has to be done."

This week Cllr Mackin, who served for over 20 years as commander at the local fire station, reinforced his hard-hitting remarks.

"I am not afraid of using the word 'yobs' when it comes to kids who vandalise property in Shefford," said Cllr Mackin, a fire chief at Luton Airport.

"Let's not sit back and be afraid of these kids who mess up our communities. We have a problem in Shefford with vandalism and we have got to get tough with vandals if we are to deter young people from smashing up public and personal property.

"ASBOs are seen by some yobs as a badge to boast about. But these kids should suffer some penalty that will stick in their mind.

"A tough boot camp would do a lot of them some good. A few months in a harshly controlled environment would give them a sharp jolt not being slung in jail with a TV and daily gym session to make them feel as though they are in a rest camp.

"It is a shame because we have got a lot of really goods kids in the town but a small minority of vandals are costing Shefford's citizens, the police and the council a lot of grief.

"It has been estimated that 50 per cent of yobbos break ASBOs and ignore punishments courts give them.

"These yobbos don't respect law and order. Tough discipline never hurt anyone and it is about time the Government listened to the people who suffer."

Shefford Police Community Support Officer Gill Richardson said: "Vandalism and criminal damage does happen and recently I have confiscated tobacco and alcohol from youths.

"Play equipment was damaged in the Kingfisher play area but we have not had a high level of complaints although there have been a number of incidents in the town.

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