UVF sends children to fight police…

A CHILD of five has been cautioned by police for being involved in serious rioting in the Shankill area of north Belfast. Police say the kids are organising their “recreational riots” using mobile phone text messages, without outside (school) involvement.

The riots, too late to make the latest IMC report, ostensibly were the “community response” to “heavy-handed policing” during house searches. The searches – carried out in the wake of a UVF “show of strength” – turned up a gun and there were arrests, and more after the riot. The PSNI think they’re in an impossible position – too heavy-handed for some, too much of a soft touch for others, and all the while trying to ensure the human rights of a child throwning a petrol bomb at them are upheld. Meanwhile, looking at the problem of sectarian attacks in north Antrim, also believed to have been carried out by children, Angelique Chrisafis wonders if “a generation is growing up more segregated and sectarian than its parents“.

  • George

    At least the PSNI appear to have been working on their arrest techniques in riot situations because they actually managed to catch one of these nimble five-year-olds, who wasn’t able to run as fast as his school mates who got away.

    A bit more speed work in the gymn from the officers and who knows, the streets of Belfast may one day be safe.

  • maca

    The parents of that 5 year old shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. Someone call child services.

  • levee

    Without reading Chrisafis’ article, I’d say the upcoming generation is probably more disaffected than most of us.

    I think it’s down to the ethos in some of these ‘worse-off’ areas – run-down housing estates, idle, aimless parents just living with no thought for the future. We’re watching the birth of a parentally-detatched, junk-food eating, TV watching generation. Oh, and don’t forget the rampant sectarian attitudes.

    Nothing seems to hold any excitement or attraction for these kids, so a bit of rioting hits the spot, doesn’t it?

    So, instead of criticising the police, the parents and politicians in these areas need to take a long hard look at what they’re doing for their youngsters.

    Disclaimer: Having lived and grown up in council housing, particularly in West Belfast, I know the kind of people I’m talking about here. There are decent folk living in these areas too, but they get on with lives quietly.

  • George

    “The parents of that 5 year old shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. Someone call child services.”

    Didn’t know you were in the eugenics camp Maca.

  • maca

    Nothing to do with eugenics UI, more to do with questioning how responsible some parents are.

  • Animus

    Indeed, where are the parents in this situation? It seems clear that these children who are neglected are making their own entertainment. The police should not be forced to be babysitters.

  • George

    “Irresponsibility”, as you call it, shouldn’t deny them the right to procreate maca.

    And what does the UI mean?

  • maca

    George
    “”Irresponsibility”, as you call it, shouldn’t deny them the right to procreate”

    It was a poor choice of words on my part George, I don’t mean I’d deny them the right to procreate, I meant that if they can’t look after their kids then perhaps social services might want to take a look at their situation.

    “And what does the UI mean?”
    Sorry – United Irelander, I had just discussed this topic on his blog…

  • Young Fogey

    We’re watching the birth of a parentally-detatched, junk-food eating, TV watching generation.

    That was said about my generation. And my parents’ generation. And my grand-parents’ generation, except it was the pictures and comics rather than TV.

    Wherever the blame lies, it’s not with those old chestnuts.

    Pretty shocking all the same – I wonder what sanctions will be imposed on the five year old and his parents?

  • George

    Young Fogey,
    They were given a stern ticking off when the child was returned, according to PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland so that young tike has certainly learnt his lesson and won’t be doing anything wrong ever again.

  • Angel

    The generation of empathetic deficient.

    People have been taught to make excuses for their behavior and if that doesn’t work, lie about it. No one is held responsible for their actions anymore. Not just NI it’s everywhere. The government is too concerned with playing the politically correct card that their actions cancel each other out and nothing is accomplished. The cost of living goes up while the job market goes down. Dad’s job doesn’t cover the bills so Mom goes to work and their combined income doesn’t cover everything. Some turn to drink or drugs to mask their dispare, then that creates more domestic problems and for some a non taxable suplimental income is the only quick solution they can find creating even more problems.
    The entire city has been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for over 30 years.

  • eranu

    the parents of these kids arent going to do an aweful lot about about their kids behaviour. the only way to stop kids / teens rioting, that i can see, would be for the police to beat the living tripe out of the rioters ! rendering them unable to riot ! unfortunately this probably wouldnt be socially acceptable…

  • Animus

    Eranu – Children learn from example – a five year old needs guidance, not a beating from police. A teenager is a different story, but if you can’t control your five year old, perhaps you should let someone else (like foster parents) have a go.

    Angel – how do you mean the job market goes down? We are in a period of low unemployment, although some of the jobs on offer aren’t great. And as for working parents – you have constructed a very limited scenario, don’t you think? Many mothers enjoy the opportunities (and money) work brings and don’t have to resort to drink or drugs! Most children’s parents work these days, but most five year olds aren’t rioting. Lots of statements there, but they just don’t make sense as a package.

  • George

    Animus,
    I remember seeing countless teenagers being badly beaten by police on a German Mayday demonstration in part of a police crackdown by an Army General who became interior minister for Berlin.

    Two years later they were back, two years older and two years angrier, highly organised young adults burning down supermarkets and returning the violence in spades.

  • eranu

    i think a 5 year old definately needs proper guidance too. especially if at 5 years old they arent afraid of throwing stones etc at adults (police) . our rioters arent attending an event and decide to cause trouble at it, they are simpley going out into the street to riot, to cause damage and try to hurt police officers.
    i think this needs to be put down with force and they need to be shown that they will not be allowed to do it. certainly watching from a landrover isnt going to stop anything.

  • Animus

    George – I left out the word parental, sorry, children of five need more parental guidance, whereas teenagers are slightly harder to rein in by parents. The peer group is more influential as one gets older and teenagers naturally assert their independence, although certainly I would prefer them to dye their hair blue/swear/listen to loud music rather than rioting or carjacking.

    I didn’t mean to imply that teenagers deserve to be beaten, by police or parents. Brutality begets brutality, a lesson which should be evident in Northern Ireland.

  • Animus

    George – I left out the word parental, sorry, children of five need more parental guidance, whereas teenagers are slightly harder to rein in by parents. The peer group is more influential as one gets older and teenagers naturally assert their independence, although certainly I would prefer them to dye their hair blue/swear/listen to loud music rather than rioting or carjacking.

    I didn’t mean to imply that teenagers deserve to be beaten, by police or parents. Brutality begets brutality, a lesson which should be evident in Northern Ireland.

  • pacart

    Isn’t it a bit weird that our political agenda is,in part, being set by five year olds?

  • davey

    no 5 year olds on the television coverage.

    All grown ups throwing petrol bombs on the tv pics.

  • raymond

    “At least the PSNI appear to have been working on their arrest techniques in riot situations because they actually managed to catch one of these nimble five-year-olds, who wasn’t able to run as fast as his school mates who got away.”

    He was however released without charge due to the intervention of his special branch handler