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There's a growing and very real problem in this country with teenagers and whilst young people acting out has always happened and is an expected part of growing up, the things that are happening now are totally unacceptable.
There's a story practically every week in the news about gangs of youths intimidating people, damaging property, being aggressive and in some cases causing actual harm. The cause of all this can be debated eternally. Was it the fault of the parents, the teachers etc. But the fact is that this is out of control and nobody seems able to stop it. The latest excuse is that it is because of the lockdown and personally I don't think that's good enough and certainly doesn't forgive the behaviour I'm talking about.
In the past teenagers would have been too scared to do these things. They would have been scared of what teachers would do. They wouldn't want to attract the attention of the police and they certainly wouldn't want the wrath of their parents. But now they have no fear, are too well "protected" and thanks to social media they are also very well organised in their activities. They think they can do anything without facing consequences.
At the foot of this article I've included snippets from local press outlets to highlight the problem. You can also do a quick Google search on terms such as "youths passers by" and "group of teenagers" then restrict the search to the past month.
Relevant news stories
Police investigate after 'laughing teenagers pushed pensioner into River Mersey'
Police are investigating after a 74-year-old man was deliberately kicked into the River Mersey in Cheshire, watched by a gang of laughing youths. A mobile phone image was filmed just before the attack. It shows one of the youths about to launch the kick that sent the elderly victim face first into the water.
Linlithgow firefighters attacked while tackling 'deliberate' fire
A fire crew said it came under attack, after it was called to put out a fire in a West Lothian village. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said that the fire had been "deliberately set", and added that the large number of youths that subsequently gathered at the scene became quite hostile.
18 people charged after spate of attacks on Lothian buses in Edinburgh
A spate of attacks on Lothian buses have led to the arrest of 18 people, with one incident involving a brick flying through the window and landing in the buggy/wheelchair area.
Group of youths 'intimidating the public' in Musselburgh
Youths congregating around the Brunton Hall, North High Street and Fishers Wynd have been highlighted by East Lothian Police as engaging in anti-social behaviour, during the day and into the evening.
Brutal Blyth teens punched and stamped passer-by unconscious after he refused to give a cigarette
Cowardly teenagers stamped, kicked and punched a passer-by unconscious in a supermarket car park after he refused to give them a cigarette.