Beware your past may (Rightly?) haunt you!


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A student who received a criminal record for stealing bikes when he was an 11-year-old child is launching a test case to have them expunged because it breaches his human rights (see below)…

But, is it right that our children should be free to do whatever they want, with impunity, knowing that any wrong doing will simply be written off as soon as they reach adulthood?

Isn’t it better they have that slight element of fear about their actions ‘haunting’ them in future life? Shouldn’t we be doing more to educate our children about right and wrong, instead of letting them run free to take part in whatever, in their youthful exuberance and immaturity, see as simply a bit of fun? Wouldn’t it be better if we taught them that for every action there is an impact and sometimes, not a very pleasant one?

Despite all the best parenting skills, children may go off the rails from time to time. I nearly did and I also know of many kids who actually did and often, the ones you would least expect it of. Youngsters who developed drug habits or got involved in petty crime because of peer pressure or whatever, despite having respectable, well-educated and well-to-do parents. But I have also known many kids who excelled in life, at everything they did. Ones who came from broken homes with fathers who spent more time in prison than they did at home. In short, the background doesn’t always reflect the outcome.

But it must be better to always do the best we can with preventative measures and education, rather than simply say to our children, “you can do what you want now, because it’s not important when you get older.” If we don’t at least try to get it right during our children’s formative years, aren’t we just storing up even greater problems for them, and our society, in the future?

Lots of us have elements of our past that we aren’t proud of, at all ages in life however; isn’t it those ‘mistakes’ that we make that make us what we are in life?

Whatever the facts and issues behind the court action being brought; allowing erasure of juvenile criminal records is little more than a poor effort to disguise our parental and social ineptitude. That and attempting to hide the inherent failures of the self-interested individuals within our society?

2 thoughts on “Beware your past may (Rightly?) haunt you!

  1. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (was in 74?) should be brought up to date. I’m all for convictions being spent and unobtainable unless a further offence is committed – except in cases where the offence makes an individual likely unfit for certain employment – these usually being sexual offences. This would leave no need to expunge records. A third of blokes have been convicted of a list 1 offence by 30 and hand-on-heart most would have to admit to unconvicted ones. We seem to get this wrong at both ends.


    1. Raymond Lunn, an unemployed, graduate, ex-con and ex-offender, trying to understand “how he fits into society being an ex-offender excluded from it” comments on the ROA in his blog….

      Lord Dholakia’s, Private Members’ Bill has now had its third reading in the House of Lords. Final Bill ([18/07/2011] submitted to the House of Commons awaiting for its consideration. You can read the full Bill here – Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill (HL Bill 89)


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