Monday, September 03, 2007

suburban incident

Now, I don't live in the burbs having traded that years ago for life in the countryside. But most of my friends do. One particular couple and their children moved into their brand new dream home in a brand new suburb a few months ago.

A few nights ago, they were all sleeping peacefully when at 2 am the front door rang. Alarmed and groggy, the man of the house went downstairs to find a neighbor (who just returned home from work) holding onto a teenage boy! Apparently this boy was caught breaking into the family van parked outside. The boy, all of 14, was squirming and complaining that they were holding him too tight and they were hurting him so they loosened their grip. Mistake. The kid took off on foot. A few minutes later, the cops came and they all went searching for him and found him along with a buddy in crime roaming the streets. The cops actually KNEW him having been caught a few times before.

This story has had me enraged for the past few days. First I feel for my friends who've had to go through this. But my biggest questions are: where were these kids parents? what are 14 year olds doing roaming the streets at 2 in the morning? shouldn't these parents be held accountable for their kids' actions? how come these kids get away with this type of behavior? they've been caught before, but nothing gets done about it and they get to go back home and glow in the knowledge that they got away with it and most probably getting a rush out of it intensifying their desire to do something else again. There's something wrong with this Young Offender's Act. If they're old enough to think out such crimes, they are old enough to suffer some consequences: a fine to be paid by the parents? community work? a day or two in jail? something!!!


nancy said...

I agree with you on the role of his parents, but sometimes I wonder if the parents even know he is out?

And if the police know of him, and as you said, nothing gets done, what can We do as a society/community do to teach these thugs?

Sign me up.

BeachMama said...

I am right there with Nancy, sign me up!

Living in suburbia is alright most of the time. But, there are those nights when we can hear the punks roaming the streets or hanging out at the park (when the windows are open) and you lie awake in bed wondering what exactly they are up to. Mostly they write on fences and signs with paint or markers, but every now and then the rummage a car or break beer bottles at the park. And my FIL wonders why I don't like to take J there.

My former neighbours knew when their kids were out, but always said, "my kids would never do that" yeah, it was just coincidence the they had a party, let the kids out into the streets and stuff was vandalized that night...

Silver Creek Mom said...

That is Why I choose to stay in the country altough kids can get into trouble here too. Kids these days for some reason do not fear the law or the consenquenses of their actions. I'm so trying to drill this into my kids. You do this then this will happen and not's not fun.
I think kids like this should be made to work after 2 offenses in a correctional facility. THIS might wake a few up in a hurry. It's NO Picnic in there.

Hugs to your friends.

snackmommy said...

Consequences...there are none. Just like small children, the young offenders need predictable, consistent consequences for their actions if behaviour is to change.

Even for adult offenders. In Canada, there seems to be such a fear of precedence amongst the judges, that maximum sentences are rarely seen. In the American system, (I believe) judges are elected, thus citizens can look at their track record in determining where to distribute their vote.

Can you tell this is a sore spot for me?

DaniGirl said...

Something similar happened to my friend's neighbour except - the neighbour was brought up on charges for being too rough with the child he found vandalizing his car!! The kid (I think he was 14 or 16) had bruises on his arm and side from where the guy was holding him while his wife called police, and the parents filed assault charges against him.