Saturday, November 19, 2011

Underage Drinking Targeted

Continuing with my drinking theme.

According to a "60 Minutes" program recently, New South Wales Police have had enough - they have launched Operation Enough, to target underage drinking in the streets at night.

These are kids as young as 14 years old (probably younger). When the task force locates them, they call the parents, forcing them to come and collect their offspring, and see what they have been up to.

There was one group who had been trying to gate crash a party, and had been turned away.  One bright spark gave his parents 'phone number and when the mother arrived, she was shocked and not impressed to find that the boy wasn't her son.  He was on bail and had lied to the Police.  There was another child on bail as well, and both of these young people will be going straight back to court.  One youth cried and said he just wanted to go home.  Well son, you should have thought of that BEFORE you shut the front door behind you.

Apparently some genius had bought $60 worth of alcohol for a group of kids.  Well done, whoever you are. You are a fine example eh?

Most of the parents, admittedly unimpressed by being called out at 3 a.m., were horrified to find their kids on the street, drinking.  Kids lie, and cheat, and tell their parents they are staying overnight at so-and-so's place, when they have no intention of doing so.

One extremely fine, upstanding specimen of fatherhood, with his great beer gut hanging out, was furious with the Police, shouting at them and being belligerent.  One of the things he said?

Man, these are little kids, 15 year olds, that's what 15 year olds do

ah......sorry mate, not in our book they don't.  What hope has any child with a "father" like this?  I wonder if he was the father of the 14 year old girl the Police found drinking with men aged 16,  17 and  20 years old?  The 20 year old had been done previously for exposing himself.  She didn't seem in the least concerned.   Makes me wonder what her home life is like, if she happily places her self in such a self-destructive situation. 

One of the boys caught had been caught for the third time in a week, breaching bail.  One of the girls was so defiant and unconcerned that she literally took your breath away with her smart mouthed answers to questions.

We sat and wondered - this was just one night in Sydney's West - what on earth is going on in the rest of our cities?  What is the attraction about sitting in a blacked-out, deserted park, or on the pavement in the middle of woop-woop, getting shit-faced drunk?  Is it because the kids have no self-respect?  Most of the parents shown appeared to be normal, decent people, who had no idea their kids were so far off the rails.  Who were shocked and frightened to find their kid in that situation.

Is it peer pressure?  If so, I would think the kids need a new group of peers.  Why do these children have a need to damage themselves so?  Not only their reputation, but their morals, their health and their future - a term in prison doesn't go down well with most future employers or partners.

I applaud the Police, but their effort is a drop in the bucket.  Personally I can't see what the answer is to this horribly widespread problem.  It isn't as though the kids have nothing to do either.  And they obviously have money!  Maybe the only thing we can do is institute a curfew for kids under the age of 18 - inside after 8 p.m. or spend the night in the lockup.  

Oh wow! wouldn't people yell and scream and shout about that one!   I would dearly like to know other people's thoughts on this subject.

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