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Riots force rethink on Britain's juvenile justice

Paisley Dodds and Jill Lawless report for AP from London:

It wasn't long ago that David Cameron launched what became known as his "Hug a Hoodie" campaign -- an initiative born of a public outcry over Britain's ill-behaved youths, and one that ended in ridicule when hooded youths mocked the then opposition leader during a photo opportunity.

Now as prime minister, Cameron is opting for tough love in the wake of Britain's riots.

He has declared anyone convicted in the unrest will be jailed, and he's even warned rioters that they may be kicked out of state-subsidized housing. "We will track you down, we will find you, we will charge you, we will punish you," he said.

Some critics say the hardline stance falls short.

Among them are law-enforcement officials and youth workers who claim Britain has taken too soft an approach to juvenile offenders. Too many receive cautions, which they ignore. Others have been given Anti-Social Behavior Orders, an invention of the previous Labour government which have been derided as largely ineffective, even being used as a badge of honor by delinquent youths. The ones who have ended up in juvenile detention centers often have access to luxuries like PlayStations or computer games.

It's good to hear that sense is making a comeback across the pond, but why does it take a riot?


An "Anti-Social Behavior Order"???!!!

There are times when the Left parodies itself better than anyone else could, and this is one of them. For twisting language into a pretzel, this is right up there with "wardrobe malfunction."

I wonder how those orders read.

"You are hereby commanded to be nice, on pain of being ordered again" or something like that?

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