Saturday, December 02, 2006

Old Head on Young Shoulders

A colleague recently dealt with a young-looking 14 year-old who has a history of convictions that lengthens by the week. Like so many of his contemporaries he steals mobile phones, which find a ready market locally. He now knows enough law to make sure that he only snatches phones from users' hands, helped by the way in which youngsters brandish them to establish street cred. Because he is not using or threatening violence, he cannot be charged with robbery, but only with theft. He is nevertheless expected to eat his turkey on Christmas Day in a secure unit.
His combination of wit speed and decisiveness would be a great asset in many jobs, but we sadly lack any machinery to steer him into a useful life.

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