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Child service personnel/Juniors

Shipmates might be interested to learn that the Council of Europe (CoE) has proposed, in a draft report, that Britain stop recruiting children (under 18 year olds) for the armed services and that we should tackle bullying and confront abuse. If the Court accepts the draft report it will, by treaty, become the law in Britain.

More details in: Daily Telegraph: 16.3.06, available at:

The CoE website does not have any documents available on this topic at present.
Can I sue Pusser for the period 1961 to Jan 64 when I was hounded, abused, forced to work many hours non stop, forced abroad, made to fight in a war zone age 16 years for which I have a General Service Medal as evidence. Exposed to hazardous substances, was allowed to co-habit with woman of loose morals, was allowed to get drunk whilst my supervisors were present (thats all you O.D's, A/B's and Hookies I was ashore with in the Far East.) Allowed to particpate in work and evolutions with no safety equipment, floresence jacket, hard hat, steel toe capped boots. Just how did me and quarter-a-million other Ganges and St Vincent boys survive.

I FINK I MAY BE A MILLIONAIRE. Class action springs to mind.



War Hero
In all seriousness, how many such boys didn't survive, or suffered needlessly? WOuld any of the board's old sea-dogs have liked to have these modern safety regs whilst they were boy-sailors?

Also, is there a moral issue in having children risk their lives for a nation without having a say in the running of said nation (i.e. a vote in elections)?
The reality is times change and opinions change. Today many people see 16 year olds as still children, but when many of us were that age ourselves you were considered old enough for most things at such ages.

After all go back to Nelson's time and you have very much younger lads in both the Navy and the Army.

Personally Idon't think it will be long before the school leaving age is raised to 18 any way. The pressure for youngsters to stay on is growing all the time.



Lantern Swinger
Didn't do me any harm, in fact I feel it prepared me to cope with a least two tragedies in my life. With the number of teen yahoos getting kid glove treatment by the courts and going out again to commit more mayhem, a dose of Ganges would do them a darn site better than the current smack on the hand they now get
I am quite sure the old ways didn't do most people that much harm, just the way people think changes. It is just the same with parents not letting kids go to school by themselves. When I went to school I got taken for the first few weeks till my mum was happy I knew the way and then it was of on the tram by myself. I only ever got a lift if one of my parents was actually going past my school anyway.



Lantern Swinger
Turn this thread on its head - If you're old enough to die in your country's service, you're old enough to vote the dratsabs out who put you at risk.


Lantern Swinger
higthepig said:
it all started to go wrong when they stopped chidren going up chimneys.

There was a time while I was at Mercury in the early 80s that the behaviour of the New Entries gave some cause for concern - luckily somebody decided quickly that what they really needed most was a more rigorous routine in their lives and less leeway for sloppiness etc. - Situation improved within a month, everybody happy.

What do you do to 'naughty' kids who have no sense of responsibility? My wife was a teacher, and she knew....... Yes, you give them responsibility - in school it's the 'blackboard monitor'. 'milk monitor'. 'keeper of the goldfish' etc. In a service environment you put them in charge of ever-more important little areas of their work - (including, for Nutty, Captain of the Heads).

I've just been working in a prison for six months - It had a section for 'Young Offenders', but in general they mixed with adults. They were the worst behaved of all the prisoners. They'd been handled time and time again with kid gloves, by the 'do-gooders', with ASBOs and probation until they'd finally gone too far and earned themselves a prison sentence. What good had the leniency done for them? Nothing. (And prison is NOT a punishment - that word is hardly ever used in the service - the most important words are 'Care and Custody'). Of course, most of the younger inmates reoffended and returned to prison quite soon after their release.

I'd often wondered what would have happened to the 18 - 21 year olds in prison if they'd been kept separate from the adults. And what might have happened if they'd been subject to shorter sentences, but following a regime similar to DQs, or more particularly the regime of what I knew as the Military Corrective Training Centre (Colchester).

Anyway, that's getting off the point - what I'm suggesting is that young people need a rigid framework of organisation, routine and discipline in their lives - in the past, place like Ganges and St Vincent certainly did it, and I expect Raleigh does that job now. In the past, though, even once us ODs had got to sea, we were guided (more or less) by the badgemen and Leading Hands and Senior Rates - both at sea and on our runs ashore, it's the same thing. Can all the serving badgemen, LHs and SRs claim to be continuing that routine?



Lantern Swinger
What happened to the program that was planned to send young offenders to an army stylled boot camp at Aldershot ? Your right G_W, treating them with kid gloves doesn"t work. Telling children their rights is OK but they also have to be told their responsiblities
Most of the decent anti-reoffending programmes have been cut on the basis that they reward offenders for being criminals. A perverted logic in my mind as I do not see compulsory removal from normal society and having no freedom as a reward. There are though too many peole who view making a yob into a decent citizen as the wrong thing to do.

The boot camp concept has it's supporters and does have some merit, but it is potentially expensive and will not work for all, and whilst the military have the option of kicking the misfits out after a spell in DQs this is not available for prison type regimes.

I fear that for too long now socialist polititians have given the you disadvataged no hope for the future so all that is left is the life of a yob on the social with a bit on the side from petty crime. The whole profesy has become self fulfilling.



Lantern Swinger
Maxi_77 said:
There are though too many people who view making a yob into a decent citizen as the wrong thing to do.

Fully agree, but while there are a few rules in prison, the Prison Officers (outnumbered by social and resettlement workers in most jails) are unable, individually, to make much of a difference. One of the things I was most surprised with in my short contract in a prison was that the whole concept of social responsibility was not instilled on inmates - they throw rubbish all over the place, have no respect for others - unless they are scared of them - and it's always "somebody else's fault" that they're in.
I think that when they get to prison much of the battle is lost. It is when they get caught for the first time that the job needs to be started, and I think tellings off, and probation just ensure that the little blighter will do it again.

Some time ago I watched a progamme about one of the now closed down anti re-offending courses, which from what I saw was not an easy option. One of the lads was not 'bad', he just had communication problems, was a bit thick, and had got into the habit of using violence and anger when things were not to his likeing. They spent a lot of effort trying to get him to deal with this problem, because this was the route of his problems, and his conviction for GBH. Prison or a young offenders institution would just have made him worse.

My apologies Geoff: I think I've been one of those do-gooders you mention! It could be an intense feeling of not wanting to see Ganges type treatment inflicted on anyone ever again, though of course one hopes that NCO "bad apples" are a minority. I recall reading in the Times recently that a youth received damages from the Met.Police after he was put into a dustbin. I must admit that I thought that was absurd.

The thing that stuck in my mind when I was studying criminology at Birkbeck, was the number of YOs who reoffended shortly before they were due for release, in order that their stay in a YOI was extended as "punishment". It emerged that they did so because the YOI provided them with regular meals, a routine, and staff who cared about them, things that they were not getting at home! As a criminologist this is not what you are trained to expect. It does suggest that parenting classes may be more widely needed - perhaps a compulsory option in the national curriculum, or maybe it already is?
I think you are all forgetting that the present civilian rules are

At 16 years of age you are not the responsibility of your parents anymore

I had a young lad staying with me as a lodger paid for by the Social Services --he was ex young offender-not wanted by his Mother because of his behaviour --------he was with me to get accustomed to being on his own at 16

At age 16 he left us and went into the big wide world -- he was back inside within 3 months !! Done a shop and got banged up.

At the moment the young are being hammered by silly complaints --everything has to be reported to the Police and the police have to do their duty and put everything on record then its the childrens panel etc etc.
The snag is most of the police reports are frivolous-really kids do play and sometimes get boisterous -they aren't criminals .

If they do get sent away to a house of correction [my words] then it is like a finishing school --they'll be real criminals when they finish their time!!
They learn all the dodges and easy ways of doing things -out with the law!! from the other inmates!!

Suggest that all social workers be vetted for family back ground- like have they ever brought up a family --then possibly the powers that make silly by-laws etc would start to get street wise!!

end of rant-- :lol: :lol:
I think that shows the systemsas it is doesn't work properly and we really do need to look for ways of improving things. Once you lock the little scoats up for the first time the battle is already lost, they are so far down the slippery slope. We do need to start work on them and perhaps the parents much earlier when they first attract attention.

I do think one of the problems is that many youngsters today have lost the ability to play, everything has to be provided on a plate, and has to have the right brand names.

Equally youngsters need to know whatthe boundaries are, to often today they learn that the boundaries are set by them not those in authority and this has to be reversed. Equally to many grow up believing that they have no prospects in this society, thus what ever they do doesn't really matter. Somehow this has to change.

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