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Public Disorder — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:45 pm on 11th August 2011.

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Photo of Lord Elton Lord Elton Conservative 1:45 pm, 11th August 2011

Many of your Lordships will have seen a young person with presumably stolen goods in his hands and without concealing his identity in any way being asked whether he was afraid of being caught. His answer was that people are never caught and if he was it was a first offence, which would mean an ASBO, and what difference did that make? My first question is: are the courts able to give adequate sentences and are places available for custodial sentences for the numbers that will be needed? Rubber sentences are no good, any more than are rubber bullets in such circumstances. My second question is: will the Minister pay particular attention to what the most reverend Primate said about what is going on in our schools? It is essential that we re-establish not only order but ethics and morals in our schools. Will she listen to our former noble friend Lord Pearson when he draws attention to the fact that what is sown in our schools is sown by people trained in our training colleges who will remain in their profession for 40 years? It is vital that the right people are taught the right things.