Borders youngsters’ views of English rioters

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YOUNG people in the Borders have been sharing their thoughts about the recent riots in England and if they felt there would be an impact on the way they are treated locally.

Here’s what they had to say…

Five young people, aged between 16 and 19 from the Cheviot HYPPE (Helping Young People Participate and Engage) panel based at Kelso said: “ What’s the point?

“We think that just because some young people acted that way that it doesn’t mean that all young people act that way. We also think that there are reasons behind the way of how some people have acted.

“Maybe it is to compete with the wealthy with regard to all the latest technology and style of clothes, some don’t know any better from their parents as they have not taught them right from wrong. Another reason could be that they are trying to look good in front of their peers or even being peer-pressured into looting.

“Although some have reasons behind their actions, some just think that it was fun and the chance of a freebie would be good and stealing may even be exciting because of the thrill of it.

“Despite all the reasons behind the excuses we think that it was still not right.

“Why is killing other innocent people an excuse for getting the latest stuff?

“How is ruining their own country, wasting their country’s money worthwhile as they are also wasting their own home?

“We think that two year olds behave better and that YOBS are the words for them.”

Taylor Franchetti, Jedburgh

“Even though I watched the news to find out about the riots, I wasn’t sure as to why they were happening but one thing that did catch my eye was the repeated use of ‘young people’ and that young people had nothing to do and that’s why they were rioting.

“We had a discussion in class as to why we thought people were rioting and we thought it was down to peer pressure, gangs and just doing it because the opportunity was there.

“I don’t think it will affect people in our area and what they think about young people here, but I do think it will make people more wary about gangs of young people up the street wearing hoodies, as that was what was pictured on the news.

“It may affect people in cities but because we live in small towns people won’t be afraid of rioters and violence as older people take part in violence on the street as well.”

Katrina Thompson, Hawick

“It’s everybody’s responsibility! It’s a common misconception that within society if something goes wrong it’s a young person. Young people are stereotyped as a thug if they wear a hoodie.

“When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty and shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up and express their anger and frustration if you refuse to hear their cries.

“‘A riot is the language of the unheard,’ according to Martin Luther King.

“It’s hard to get that from one incident it can affect the whole country. Young people in some communities feel they need to take part in the riots in order to be part of their community, to prevent them being outcasts.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and there are different ways to express this. I don’t agree with the rioting but their voice has most certainly been heard.

“For society to function well we need to integrate different cultures by listening to each other and respecting each other for who and what we are.”

Shane Robertson, Jedburgh,

“If the rioters want to be big men and fight to the death , well get on the next plane to Afghanistan and stand alongside real men - they’re called soldiers and they are fighting a war with a cause unlike people who see a chance to take advantage and think that they can do anything to seize that chance to loot etc.”

Alan, Hawick.

“I really hope that the disgusting behaviour that rioters are showing in England during the riots does not make people in the Scottish Borders think worse of the young people here.

“I would like to remind everyone that the Scottish Borders is hundreds of miles away to any rioting happening in England. Every young person I have spoken to shares the same opinion - that the people in the riots are not helping their reputation or their cause by behaving the way they do.”

Steven Rattray, Melrose.

“I think the riots in England will not make people think that young people are bad in the Borders. One of the things that I am not happy about is that one group of people have given us all a bad name when the rest of us are just minding our own business.

“Some people might not trust us but there is nothing we can do and it is not us who are in the wrong.

“Personally I am worried that people from other countries might not want to come over to the UK for the Olympic Games. Sadly there is nothing we can do about that.

“One thing we can do though is show that we are not all people who hang around street corners in hoodies and will cause damage to people’s property.”

YOB (Youth of the Borders) thank everyone for their replies. If anyone would like to have their say on next month’s question please search for YOB & BYP on facebook.