There are three sources of blame for the troubles in the Beaumont area of Southwick.
They are, first and foremost, the council. The council has a policy of moving troublemakers from different areas of the city and grouping them together in certain places, of which Southwick is one.
Southwick has had this reputation for years and the way the council has looked at it is"‘can it get any worse?"
If you’re going to put troublemakers close together they will form into one large group and cause mayhem.
It’s happened for years. And if they move these troublemakers again, they’ll group them all together in another area and let them drag that down.
The second source is the police themselves. Northumbria Police officers are reluctant to earn their daily bread. They are quite happy to tour the city in their cars and leave the policing to the PCSOs.
These Community Support Officers are entirely toothless. I tried to report a problem about anti-social behaviour to one a few weeks ago. His response? Ring 101 and report it – if you can get through.
I asked him what purpose he and those like him served, he just shrugged his shoulders. I asked him, if he was walking down the street and someone approached him reporting a disturbance would he advise them to ring 101? No, he said, I would call it in. What, you wouldn’t act? Not allowed to, he said.
The police have allowed the situation to get out of control and now they can’t handle it.
The third and main group to blame are the parents themselves.
Actually there is no such ting as parenting these days.
I was born in my grandmother’s house in Cobham Square 64 years ago this month.
In those days the people of Southwick literally didn’t have two ha’pennies to rub together, now that was poverty, but if their kids dared cause trouble they’d have suffered for it with a damn good belting (around the ears or across the seat of their pants. Even when I was growing up in the sixties my parents employed the same methods. It made me think twice about getting into trouble).
Of course, that today would be classed as child cruelty. In those days it was called keeping your kids under control.
Last week's Letter of the week: "I honestly feel sorry for Sunderland owner Ellis Short"