Are cold showers and route marches the answer for our badly behaved boys?

This week the Chief Inspector of Prisons said that Thorn Cross Young Offenders Centre, the nearest we have to a boot camp, has proved a success. So is hard physical exercise the answer? Yes, says Lynette Burrows; the ‘caring’ approach has damaged our children. Not true, says Paul Cavadino; education and work are the only […]

Whipped and sentenced to hard labour for stealing books, rabbits and celery

Real-life Artful Dodger gang of Victorian child criminals are seen in newly-unearthed police mugshots Chilling evidence of Victorian child offenders — some of whom were as young as ten when they were jailed — have resurfaced. The Evidence, which originate from Wandsworth Prison in London, were recorded in December 1872 to January 1873 . Most […]

Victorian ‘hoodies’ truly deserved a hug

Flat-cap Hoodies. Their crimes? Pitiful, when compared to today’s teen gangs. Their punishment? Barbaric beatings. By Glenys Roberts Little George Sayers was scarcely a hardened criminal. Just 13 years old, small for his age due to malnourishment, his little face screwed up in an expression of bewilderment, he faced the police camera in May 1900 […]

Give Neds a good flogging – Priest

By Janice Burns A PRIEST at the centre of a sectarian hate campaign last night called for a return of public flogging. Father Stephen Dunn, 44, hit out after thugs scrawled sick graffiti on the door of his chapel house. The priest said: “I would have birching in George Square on alternate Saturdays at 6am. […]

Horror of boys’ birching

SARAH STONER delves into the pages of former Echo journalist Nigel Green’s new book, Tough Times and Grisly Crimes, to bring you three tales from the past in the second of our three-part series. (extract)  BIRCHING CONTROVERSY: Father O’Dwyer. CORPORAL punishment was common in the early 20th century — but the birching of three 11-year-old […]

Scot flogs hard line on crime

By Jane Hamilton A SCOT has launched a bizarre campaign to bring back flogging to combat lawlessness. Churchgoer James Campbell, 55, wants to take Britain back to the “good old days”. And he wants to base his new society on corporal punishment. Campbell has placed adverts in local papers. He is seeking people who want […]

Bring back the birch

Teen tearaways should be thrashed, says councillor An Antrim councillor has controversially called on the authorities to ‘bring back the birch’ to thrash teenage tearaways back on to the straight and narrow. Against the backdrop of a debate on the culture of crime sweeping over the UK’s youth, there have been impassioned pleas for an […]

MSPs told to get tough with thugs

By Steve Bargeton Political editor Bringing back corporal punishment and reintroducing National Service is the best way to deal with young thugs, MSPs [Members of the Scottish Parliament – C.F.] have been told. Members of the Holyrood communities committee have been touring the country hearing views on the Executive’s flagship Anti-Social Behaviour Bill as part of their […]

Back to basics in Blackpool

By Oliver Burkeman Tim Metcalfe had never spoken in front of a large audience before when he made his way to the conference-hall podium in Blackpool on Tuesday – and had they known what was coming, one imagines, the Conservative party’s public-relations strategists might have preferred to keep things that way. Over the course of […]

Bring back birch, demands Mayor

AN Ulster mayor today called for the birch to be brought back after four youths set an aisle of toilet rolls on fire in a local supermarket. Antrim Mayor Mervyn Rea spoke out after the incident in the local Tesco store. Fortunately, quick action of staff and the emergency services averted near disaster and prevented […]

Thrash the thugs and save Joan for London

By A.N. Wilson JOAN Collins is to the more fashionable London restaurants what the ravens are to the Tower: It is recorded in Ye Old Booke of Belgravia and other venerable legends that if she were not to be seen at her usual table in Daphne’s, the fashionable world would actually collapse in a pile […]

A fair price to pay

Before you join the chorus of protest, says John Vorhaus, just hear out the arguments in favour of bringing back corporal punishment Like his predecessor, Home Secretary Jack Straw is currently looking to the US for ideas about law and order. Americans in jail now number more than 1.5 million, so if this is the road […]

Judge stands by his call for caning

By Valerie Elliott Home Affairs Correspondent JUDGE Owen Stable, QC, was unrepentant yesterday about his call for the return of flogging to deal with young offenders. Judge Stable, who sits at Snaresbrook Crown Court and is due to retire next year, reiterated his views: “I think the cane should be brought back … both in […]

The law must never be a laughing matter

By Frederick Lawton (extracts) WHEN a convicted criminal leaves court laughing and calling justice a soft touch, we should admit frankly: something is terribly wrong. Declan Rooney, 20, was yesterday found guilty of causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage with his spray can. And the graffiti gang leader clearly has no respect […]

I Quit Bench because the law’s gone soft

Thugs must try really hard to get jailed now, says JP Stan (extracts) MAGISTRATE Stanley Rubin has quit the bench because he is fed-up with the law’s inability to punish criminals. After 32 years as a JP in Bury, near Manchester, and Sefton, Merseyside, he says: “Officialdom has gone soft.” Here Mr Rubin, 64, tells […]

Birch these thugs who prey on our old folk

The Sun speaks its mind on the big issue facing Britain today IN the Britain of 1993 there cannot be a single elderly man or woman who does not live in some fear. Fear of being robbed. Fear of being attacked, perhaps murdered, in the street or even in their home. Percy Noble, an 80-year-old widower, lived alone in a […]

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 […]

Current Events

By John Junor …………. IN WHAT was once a peaceful public park in Upton Lane, West Ham, London, an old man is set on and robbed by about 20 youths. And in broad daylight. Nor is there anything the slightest bit unusual about the incident. According to the deputy park superintendent, violence is a daily […]

Maxwell (Birching Award)

46. Mr. Biggs-Davison asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date he was informed by the visiting magistrates of the birching sentence on Roger Keith Maxwell; and on what date he made known his decision that the punishment should not be carried out. Mr. Roy Jenkins I would refer the hon. Member […]

I was spanked, sailor claims

A JUNIOR seaman claimed yesterday that when he made a mistake an officer would take him over his knee and spank him in front of his shipmates. Junior seaman first class Peter Smith, 17, of H.M.S. Zulu made the allegation yesterday when the officer appeared at a court-martial at H.M.S. Cochrane, Rosyth, Fife. He was […]

Bring back the birch, say Tories

SCOTTISH Conservative Party delegates cheered and applauded at their conference in Perth to-day as they supported a proposal calling for the re-introduction of the birch to end Glasgow’s “reign of terror.” Mr Tom Galbraith, M.P., spoke of “frightened people in Glasgow, who were demanding corporal punishment. “Some of the press have referred to it as […]

‘He Beat Ratings With Gym Shoe’

– Court told LT. GEOFFREY ROBERT MARTINDALE, of H.M.S. Devonshire, was alleged at a court-martial at Portsmouth today to have given unofficial punishments to two young naval ratings by beating them with a gym shoe. Martindale, the ship’s laundry officer, pleaded not guilty to nine charges. These alleged that he beat two young ratings, gave […]

An Instinct that Shames us All

(extracts)  [NOTE: “Today”, a long-defunct downmarket tabloid weekly, was not noted as a reliable source of detailed facts. This article contains errors, and is included here not for the information it provides but as an interesting example of how some corners of the UK popular press were beginning to adopt a surprisingly liberal tone on […]

Penalties for Young Offenders

Malicious Damage Bill From Mr. J.P. Eddy, Q.C. Sir — The Home Secretary, Mr. Henry Brooke, in moving the second reading of the Malicious Damage Bill, told the House of Commons that he was not going to reintroduce corporal punishment. To do so, he said, in the face of its unanimous rejection by his very […]

Dartmoor birch ban attacked

Click to enlarge HOME secretary Henry Brooke was attacked yesterday over his “reprieves” for two Dartmoor prisoners sentenced to birching. Mr. Harley Cronin, general secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association, said: “These prisoners violently assaulted two prison officers and were sentenced to a birching. “But Mr. Brooke, instead of upholding the visiting magistrates’ punishment, has […]

Small-boy birching for thug

By Tom Tullett Chief of the Mirror Crime Bureau BURLY Frank Mitchell calls himself the “Big Shot.” But yesterday he was given the “small-boy” treatment in the jail where he is serving a life sentence for robbery with violence. Mitchell, 33, was birched on his backside fifteen times for making two attacks on Hull prison […]

Birch them, says the top judge

Challenge to Butler? By Victor Knight Click to enlarge A THREAT loomed last night of a serious clash between the Lords and Commons over the demand by a number of Tories to bring back flogging. During a debate in the House of Lords it became clear that many Tory peers are likely to follow the […]

Bid to bring back flogging

By William Greig Click to enlarge PRESSURE on the Government to bring back corporal punishment is increasing. Some Tory Back Bench MPs claim there is a majority on their side of the House in favour of this move. But so far they have been unable to convince the Home Secretary, Mr. R.A. Butler, that their […]

Give erring Teddy Boys a haircut says Old Etonian

UNITED KINGDOM Judicial CP – May 1958 Corpun file 25199 at Daily Express, London, 17 May 1958, p.5 Express Parliamentary Reporter Click to enlarge MAGISTRATES should favour “a little less binding over, and a little more bending over” for lawbreaking youths, an M.P. urged yesterday. Other suggestions from the M.P., Mr. James Dance (Tory, Bromsgrove), […]

Prisoner gets the birch

UNITED KINGDOM Prison CP – September 1957 Corpun file 24870 at The Bulletin, Glasgow, 14 September 1957 Click to enlarge Prisoner gets the birch Thirty-three-year-old Fergus Dowell received 12 strokes of the birch rod at Durham Prison yesterday. It was his punishment for attacking two prison officers at the prison last month.

Prison mutiny men get ‘cat’

UNITED KINGDOM Prison (also judicial) CP – July 1954   Corpun file 5561   Daily Mirror, London, 7 July 1954 Prison mutiny men get ‘cat’ TWO men who took part in the Wandsworth Prison mutiny on May 26 got the “cat” yesterday. They were William Dair (eighteen strokes) and Thomas Edward Harris (six strokes). Five […]

6 await verdict in gaol

UNITED KINGDOM Prison CP – June 1954   Daily Mirror, London, 9 June 1954 6 await verdict in gaol By ‘Daily Mirror’ ReporterSIX prisoners are waiting at a gaol today to hear if any of them is to get the “cat.” The men, alleged ringleaders of the mutiny at Wandsworth a fortnight ago, when five […]

‘24,000 reasons for a flogging’

UNITED KINGDOM Judicial CP – May 1954   Daily Mirror, London, 6 May 1954 ‘24,000 reasons for a flogging’ THERE are “24,000 reasons” why thugs should be flogged, a conference was told yesterday. And, against the advice of their Executive, the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters passed a resolution calling for the return of the “cat”. […]

R.A.F. caned 2 boys who broke in

UNITED KINGDOM Armed forces CP – November 1953   Corpun file 20118 New Chronicle, London, 12 November 1953 R.A.F. caned 2 boys who broke in News Chronicle Reporter TWO boys aged 13 and 14, airmen’s sons, who broke into an office at Finningley R.A.F. Station, near Doncaster, appeared before the station commander who, with the […]

Give us a good hiding

UNITED KINGDOM Judicial CP – June 1953 Corpun file 5550 Daily Mirror, London, 13 June 1953 Viewpoint Give us a good hiding THE older generation is to blame for the increase in juvenile delinquents, not teenagers themselves. If those who brought us up had given us a jolly good hiding when we deserved it, we […]

Birching bill rejected

UNITED KINGDOM Judicial CP – February 1953   The Times, London, 14 February 1953 Government’s view WESTMINSTER, Friday. According to Mr. Chuter Ede, the speech to-day of Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, the Home Secretary, had already left as “dead as mutton” the private member’s Bill which sought to restore birching as a court sentence for crimes involving […]

Bring police up to strength

UNITED KINGDOM Judicial CP – January 1953 Corpun file 5583 Daily Mail, London, 10 January 1953 Best way to end crime — by Primate Bring police up to strength By Daily Mail Reporter CRIME would be reduced if the police force, 8,000 short in England and Wales, were brought to full strength, Dr. Cyril Garbett, […]

‘Flog for all violence’

UNITED KINGDOM Judicial CP – November 1952 Corpun file 23799 News Chronicle, London, 15 November 1952 ‘Flog for all violence’ By the Political Correspondent Click to enlarge PARLIAMENT will consider shortly after Christmas a Bill to impose corporal punishment for any offence involving violence. Up to 1948 robbery with violence and armed robbery were the […]