Teenage muggers to get free gold plated BMWs just like asylum seekers

Some typical teenagers yesterday

You don't have to have very keen bullshit detectors to spot when some Daily Mail headlines are away with the fairies exaggerated cobblers. There's an example on the website today, in 'Teenage muggers to be let off if they say sorry under new plans'. Only the most gullible of readers would spit their toast in indignant rage at this one.

Reading through several paragraphs of information reveals that kids can only get a Youth Restorative Disposal once, on their first offence, that the victim has to consent to this being the best course of action and it can only be used for minor offences like theft and vandalism. The bit about the victim having to consent is buried 21 sentence/paragraphs in.

A couple of things missing from the article that is included in the information about the scheme on the Youth Justice Board website are that 'The victim may talk about the effect it had on them and there is an apology – sometimes with a plan to make good any damage,' and that 'The pilot scheme closes in April 2009, after which there will be an evaluation to determine whether the project should be rolled out nationally.' The first is just left out to make it look like all that has to be done is that the kid says sorry and that's it, and the second would contradict the definite wording of the headline.

The paper can get away with the shouty headline because 'mugging' isn't a crime with a specific definition. It can involve anything from snatch theft right up to something involving serious violence. When we hear that someone has been mugged, most of us will picture a certain amount of violence - maybe being held up with a weapon. But anything involving a weapon will be exempt from this, and any mugging involving violence would be classed as a robbery, which is almost certainly the sort of serious crime that wouldn't be covered.

But adding all that stuff isn't entertaining enough to sell papers.


Anonny Mouse said...

I don't think that theft and vandalism are trivial offences. Vandalism can be, but theft? What level? Even vandalism can be heart breaking and cost hours to repair. And could the perp. not go and visit the victim, apologise and ask them to drop the charges anyway? Does this really need to be enshrined in the system? It's an option anyway, isn't it?

I rather suspect that, while DM readers are easy to string along, they have more and more to complain about. Taxes have increased. Serving policemen take unprecedented steps to communicate their displeasure with the tasks that they are asked to do. On top of this, there are people who are out to make money from making the scenario appear as bad as it can possibly be. TBH, I would start panicking if I were them...clumsily worded, but you get the gist.

I'd be interested in seeing your thorough approach applied evenly across all papers. Anyone who reads yourself, and various others, regularly knows that the Mail and Express are somewhat circumspect with the truth. Do you intend to focus any more on the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Independent?

Whereas the Mail and Express and Sun and Star and Mirror are easily discredited, the broadsheets retain their reputations for fair and accurate reporting. I'd be interested if someone with your investigative skills would put that to the test. Feel up to the task?

Five Chinese Crackers said...

If the victims of these crimes are sufficiently heartbroken not to want the perpetrators to be given a YDR, they can choose not to take part in one. It's pretty simple.

Five Chinese Crackers said...

Oh - and I don't really intend to examine the broadsheets as closely - they reach a much smaller audience and tend to be less given to making stuff up to scare people with. But that's not to say they don't at all.

I've examined how stories are covered across different papers before, and it might be intresting to do a bit more of that, but that's as far as I'll go, I think.

Anonny Mouse said...

I ask about the broadsheets because I know that the tabloids are crap. Anyone interested in thinking even for half a second knows that they are crap.

By pointing out where the more trusted broadsheets are lying, I'd learn something. That's why I ask.

I appreciate it'd be much harder, and I don't reckon that you'd make as many posts, which I enjoy, BTW. I'd enjoy knowing when the big lads are at it too, is all. I don't have the toolkit to show it.

BTW - the YDR. My point that the option already exists still stands. If the perp. was genuinely sorry, they may do this themselves anyway. The official option, to my mind, detracts from any genuine sentiment, as once it becomes an official option it becomes much easier to doubt any sincerity behind it.

McDuff said...

Anonny - you may feel free to disregard everything on the blog if you feel you know it all already.

The point of blogs like this is not just to say "the tabloids are shit" but to detail and document why they are shit, specifically, with graphs if necessary.