It seems we're all living with a rising tide of crime

PUBLISHED: 13:21 07 June 2007 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 May 2010

CAN anyone throw some light on the workings of what passes for a mind in the heads of the vandals who plague this otherwise pleasant town? We may not - emphatically do not - excuse burglary or theft, but what satisfaction do vandals get from their petty a

CAN anyone throw some light on the workings of what passes for a mind in the heads of the vandals who plague this otherwise pleasant town?

We may not - emphatically do not - excuse burglary or theft, but what satisfaction do vandals get from their petty acts?

Is it that they get pathological enjoyment from knowing that they are causing at best inconvenience and expense, at worst, real distress?

What twisted minds, for instance, got their kicks from breaking 40 windows of The Meridian School, Royston, during one recent weekend?

As chairman of the governors I can perhaps enhance their perverted delight by confirming that they disrupted the education of many students, caused the hard-working site manager and his team a great deal of extra work and cost the school a lot of money.

They also, they may be surprised to know, invoked universal disgust and contempt in the school in students as well as staff.

Every weekend evening these creatures leave a trail of destruction in their doubtless drunken wake.

Who is to blame for this stupid behaviour? My view, having spent more than 30 years teaching teenagers in a variety of schools, and in my present role, is that it is mainly down to parents who have never taught their children decent, honest values or even good basic manners.

These youngsters grow up believing that they have the right to do exactly what they want without regard to anyone.

And, of course, successive governments have progressively reduced schools' ability to punish bad behaviour.

I think I speak for the majority of ordinary, decent people when I say that I am deeply concerned by the rising tide of crime and generally anti-social behaviour which affects us all.

Finally, to refer to my opening question: I really should be grateful if anyone could explain why vandals do what they do, since this seems to puzzle even the criminologists.

PATRICIA A BAXTER

Royston

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