??????It’s the jolly boys’ outing – directed by Quentin Tarantino
By Richard Littlejohn Last updated at 1:10 AM on 1st April 2011
Look, I know it’s April Fool’s Day but please bear with me. What follows is not a spoof. You couldn’t make it up.
Police and council officials took a coachload of thugs from the West Midlands on a day-trip to Blackpool to keep them out of trouble.
On arrival, some of the yobs went on the rampage and kicked a father-or-two senseless in front of his pregnant girlfriend and children.
This excursion, which cost taxpayers more than £2,000, was the brainchild of the Safer Sandwell Partnership, a collaboration between no fewer than 20 publicly-funded agencies.
After careful consideration, it was decided to remove 19 young men from the streets of Dudley to prevent them becoming involved in ‘anti-social behaviour’ on the day of a planned march by the right-wing English Defence League.
All were from Asian or Muslim backgrounds and were identified as potential troublemakers. It was thought that they might try to disrupt the march, leading to violence.
Their ethnic origin is only relevant in the context of the nature of the demonstration and the understandable desire to prevent racial confrontation.
You can’t imagine the police bussing West Bromwich Albion fans to Skegness for the day to stop them clashing with Wolves supporters outside the Hawthorns.
So why, you might ask, was this band of brothers singled out for a beano to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and not the many thousands of other young Asian men who also might take offence at the sight of the EDL marching through their home town?
It may have something to do with the fact that all were members of a gang ‘known to the police’ and two of them were on bail for an alleged hammer attack in Tipton three months earlier.
So they were herded on to a charabanc with a police officer and five social workers and driven up the M6 to work off their excess aggression on the dodgems and donkey rides. Imagine the Jolly Boys Outing episode of Only Fools And Horses, directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Scene of the crime: Thugs caused chaos at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, paid for by taxpayers
When they pulled up in the coach park, the gang started chanting racist abuse at a party of day-trippers from Kingswinford. A fight ensued, in which bystander Derek Brownhill was knocked to the ground unconscious with bruising and swelling to his face and head.
This disturbing, but utterly predictable tale unfolded when five of the gang members appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on assault charges this week. Three were given prison sentences, two others community service and probation.
Chief Supt Mark Robinson, of Sandwell police, defended the decision to take the group to Blackpool, but said the outcome of the trip was ‘hugely disappointing’.
Derek Rowley, who describes himself as ‘cabinet member for safer neighbourhoods’ called it ‘unfortunate’. Sandwell racial equality chief executive Derrick Campbell, who doubles as a Government adviser on anti-social behaviour, remarked: ‘I wouldn’t say the trip had failed.’
What would he say, then? In what respect was this fiasco a success? Certainly, it removed a group of potential troublemakers from a flashpoint in the Black Country. But it dumped them on the seafront in Blackpool. What did the powers-that-be think a gang of hooligans was going to do at the seaside — buy Kiss-Me-Quick hats and feast on fish?’n’chips and candy-floss?
Instead, these thugs were let loose to terrorise families with young children and elderly holidaymakers.
We’ve been here before. In the 1990s, probation officers thought it was a good idea to give juvenile delinquents everything from windsurfing lessons to free mountain bikes to encourage them to stay on the straight and narrow.
One notorious case involved a young offender being flown to Africa on a safari holiday. Most of the time it ended in tears.
Ten years ago, I wrote a novel which featured a gang of young criminals being taken to a holiday camp by their social workers — with predictable mayhem. If you take this ludicrous policy to its logical conclusion the authorities would be justified in commandeering fleets of coaches to transport English Defence League demonstrators and their anti-racist imitators to the seaside instead of letting them kick off in city centres.
Then they could fight it out on the golden sands, like the mods and rockers in Quadrophenia.
Perhaps we could have the next ‘Stop the Cuts’ riot at Southend. Far safer to let them smash up sand castles than trash Fortnum & Mason. Everybody back on the coach.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1372145/Its-jolly-boys-outing–directed-Quentin-Tarantino.html#ixzz1IFDjx9SN