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Kent Evening Post, Chatham, 21 September 1976
'Birch the vandals' call
A MEDWAY Council committee is to consider making a call to bring back the birch for vandals.
The corporal punishment issue will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the towns' vandalism sub-committee.
The move comes because members have suggested a "bring back the birch" plea to the Government.
Last year, according to figures placed before councillors, vandalism cost Medway ratepayers £80,000. Councillor Arthur Thomas, the committee chairman, said councillors will be asked their views on corporal punishment.
Councillor Charles Spearing, a member of the committee, said today: "I would be all in favour of it. The only place in the United Kingdom where you are allowed to use corporal punishment is the Isle of Man -- and it seems to work as a deterrent because they hardly have to use it. [Note by C.F.: Actually the Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom.]
"Physical punishment is a deterrent. It doesn't harm a youngster if his mother or father just has to fork out £5 or £10 in fines if he does something wrong".
Last night's meeting also received a letter on vandalism from a Chatham resident, Kenneth Cole, of Carpeaux Close, that warned the time would soon come when residents took the law into their own hands.
Kent Evening Post, Chatham, 23 September 1976
Birch brigade attacked
A MEDWAY councillor has hit out against the hang 'em, bash 'em and belt 'em brigade.
Councillor Cyril Button thinks that parents are the answer to Medway's vandalism problem. Not the birch as suggested by other councillors on the vandalism sub-committee.
The question of corporal punishment will be included on the committee's agenda at the next meeting. Some members have suggested a bring back the birch plea to the Government.
But Councillor Button disagrees. He said: "The hang 'em, bash 'em and belt 'em brigade seem to be in full cry. The vandalism sub-committee is dealing with a highly volatile subject and not everyone believes that the answer is that simple.
"The answer lies in the hands of parents and the professional educationalists. The very people who want to fight vandalism are often ones who make no attempt to intervene when they see acts of vandalism being committed.
"Vandalism must be cured and the only way to do this is to ensure that the parents are induced to once again accept their full responsibilities."
Chatham Standard, Kent, 28 September 1976
Hooligans need the birch
Soccer violence could be cut by terms of hard labour, says MP
SOCCER hooligans should be birched and given terms of hard labour, says Gillingham's M.P. Mr. Freddy Burden.
Mr. Burden was speaking after last week's soccer violence in London when a Rainham youth was kicked unconscious in clashes between fans. He said: "The point of no return has been reached. Some very strong steps have got to be taken.
"Hooligans can injure somebody for life and apparently don't care if someone gets killed.
"It is my view, and I hold it very strongly, that young hooligans who behave in this way should not be treated leniently.
"It is no good saying 'They really didn't know what they were doing.' I believe they have got to be taught the error of their ways in no uncertain terms."
Imposing fines -- which would probably be paid by parents -- achieved nothing and "there must be a return of corporal punishment," said Mr. Burden.
He went on: "They need smart smacks across their backsides, probably by the birch, and some damn hard work such as used to operate in the Army glasshouse for a term of about three months.
"I think that would help solve the problem. A bully fears nothing more than violence against himself. He is usually a terrible coward."
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