The scandal of rewarding thugs must stop

Think of the scenes in London and other major cities over the last few days: Mindless theft and destruction, which only hurts local residents, the local community, and local businesses.

Now imagine if people committing such crimes had been rewarded with an all-expenses paid trip to a theme park.

Thankfully this hasn’t happened – however it has emerged that the West Yorkshire Youth Offending Team decided to reward five young thugs for their criminal behaviour with a trip to Alton Towers. They even went to the trouble of asking magistrates for permission to allow one of the youths to attend, as they needed to change the conditions of his electronic tag. The Youth Offending Team apparently told the court that the trip was for ‘group activity’ with ‘educational elements’ – but they conveniently omitted to say where they were going.

It is a disgrace that our money has been spent treating burglars and knifepoint robbers like this. It is thought that one of the individuals has a conviction for robbing an elderly man. Taxpayers have every right to feel outraged that our money is being squandered in rewarding the behaviour of violent criminals.

Usually these sorts of trips are organised by schools at the end of the year, to celebrate pupils’ achievements – but even then parents are asked to foot the bill. It’s as if these youths have been given a prize, costing the taxpayer around £250.

To reward thugs and criminals with such a day out is an absolute scandal. To do it with our money is insulting. Of course rehabilitation is important, but can we seriously say that a trip to a theme park is the best way to achieve this – either for them, or for us?

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