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Subject: British Happy slapping

Written By: Billy Florio on 06/19/05 at 11:35 pm

I think the best part of this article is the argument between the Brits online.  That is definitly the best part:


Happy slap' yobs breed fear, anger
By Tom Hundley Tribune foreign correspondent




Watch out for "happy slapping," the latest youth craze to sweep Britain.

It's not a new dance step or even a new designer drug. It's a criminal assault.

Groups of teenagers approach an unsuspecting person and begin punching and kicking him or her while capturing it all on their mobile camera phones. The images are later uploaded and shared on the Internet.

The victims can be young or old, male or female. Bus stops, tube stations and parks are considered prime venues. In most cases, the injuries are minor. But on Saturday, British newspapers reported that an 11-year-old London girl had been raped by a gang of happy slappers, and Scotland Yard confirmed that three 14-year-old boys had been arrested.

The craze apparently started in London late last year but has spread across the country. British Transport Police say they have investigated about 200 attacks in London alone since the beginning of the year, but they acknowledge that most go unreported.

Happy slapping is the latest manifestation of what Britons call "yob culture." The word "yob" dates to the 19th Century--it likely derives from "boy" spelled backward--and it denotes a kind of loutish, anti-social behavior associated with working-class youth in Britain's urban centers. The British soccer hooligan is the quintessential yob.

"I happyslap people," explained "Huni bo" from Sleaford on a popular yob blog. "I dnt see nowt wrong wit it tho, ima good person! Its well funni tho!!"

"It's not funny," replied Spartanette from Swansea. "If it's just among mates and you actually know the person, then it's harmless, but when you do it to someone you don't even know, you deserve a beating."

"So I deserve a beatin yeh?" replied Huni bo. "Wes onli do it ppl lyk are age ish, say from 15 -- 19 or 20. summats, wunt do it to an old man, even though they keep avin a go at us, an it dus are heds in!"

Violent anti-social behavior is hardly news in Britain--it was common in Charles Dickens' time and was made iconic by the 1971 film and Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel, "A Clockwork Orange"--but a particularly vicious attack last month once again focused national attention on the problem.

Phil Carroll, 49, a father of four from Salford, a modest, middle-class suburb of Manchester, confronted three youths from a nearby housing project after they threw a stone at his car. Suddenly, he was set upon by a larger group. The attackers left him bleeding and unconscious in the street. He remained in a coma for two weeks before waking.

But it wasn't the attack that drew headlines. It was Manchester Police Chief Supt. David Baines' graphic characterization of the attackers:

"They are gangs of feral youths who are under no control from adults, parents or anyone else," he said. "They are not concerned about respect or their responsibilities. The criminal justice system holds no fear for them. This is a national problem. Today it is Salford. Tomorrow, it will be somewhere else."

`Culture of respect'

A week later, Prime Minister    Tony Blair pledged to create "a culture of respect" in Britain. He used the annual Queen's Speech, in which the government sets out its legislative agenda for the year, to declare war on yob culture.

"It's time to reclaim the streets for the decent majority," Blair told Parliament. "People are rightly fed up with street corner and shopping center thugs ... binge drinking that makes our town centers no-go areas for respectable citizens."

One new tactic that will be tried this summer is "dispersal zones," designated areas in cities where police have powers to impose curfews, ban groups of two or more youths from congregating and send those younger than 16 home to their parents. Those who defy the police risk large fines.

The government also floated the idea of forcing young offenders serving community service sentences to wear bright orange jumpsuits as a means of shaming them.

Hazel Blears, the Home Office's minister for anti-social behavior, told the Observer newspaper that she didn't want young people "breaking rocks" in chain gangs but that the public needed to see that offenders were being punished.

Experts dismiss humiliation

Juvenile crime experts were doubtful, and the idea appears to have been scuttled.

"In my experience there is no benefit gained from humiliating offenders in public," said Rod Morgan, the government's chief adviser on juvenile crime.

Last month, a large shopping mall near London banned teenagers wearing hooded sweatshirts and baseball caps, an adolescent fashion that in Britain is associated with anti-social behavior. The justification was that the hoods and caps obscured faces from the mall's ubiquitous security cameras.

Politicians and the public have applauded the ban. Owners of the mall say they have seen a 22 percent increase in shoppers since they began enforcing it. But many ordinary law-abiding teens also dress in that style, and critics said the ban tarred all youngsters with the same brush.

"It grabs media attention," said Bob Ashford, a specialist in prevention programs with the Youth Justice Board, an advisory and monitoring panel.

"Our view is we don't want to demonize kids. Lots of kids wear this clothing. It's a fashion statement. To label a person as criminal or dangerous because of what he is wearing . . . is not a solution," he said.

The government's main weapon against yobbery is the ASBO. An acronym for "anti-social behavior order," it is a civil order obtained from a court that prohibits a person from engaging in certain narrowly defined activities that are not necessarily criminal but are clearly anti-social.

A neighbor who habitually throws loud drunken parties might be slapped with an ASBO that sharply curtails the number of guests allowed on the premises after 9 p.m. People who violate an ASBO can be jailed.

At first, the process of obtaining an ASBO was overly bureaucratic, slow and costly. Only 600 were issued in the first three years of the program, which began in 1998. But the process has been streamlined, and last year 2,600 ASBOs were issued.

Some community activists say the targeted use of ASBOs has been an effective crime-stopper, but others point to abuses.

Banned from rivers, bridges

In one well-publicized case earlier this year, a woman from Bath who had tried repeatedly to commit suicide was issued an ASBO that prohibits her from going near rivers, bridges, train lines and tall buildings. A woman in Scotland got an ASBO to stop her from answering the front door in her bra and panties.

The problem, according civil libertarians, is that ASBOs allow people to be jailed for activities that are not crimes, such as using foul language or answering the door in one's underwear.

Children as young as 10 have been ASBOed. That prompted a warning earlier this month from Alvaro Gil-Robles, the Council of Europe's human-rights commissioner. He said the government's policy was "criminalizing" children, and that no child under 16 should be jailed for violating an ASBO.

Morgan, the government's crime adviser, said ASBOs could be useful in curbing juvenile crime, but only after authorities had worked with parents and schools, issued warning letters and drawn up acceptable behavior contracts.

"If you do the proper groundwork, very seldom do you need to resort to an ASBO," he said.

But crime rates falling

Although crime rates in Britain have been dropping for a decade, the public perception is that crime and anti-social behavior are on the rise. There has been no shortage of tough talk from politicians.

In the run-up to last month's general elections, Michael Howard, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, vowed to "make yobs fear the police."

"I want policemen--and women--to have the confidence to eyeball these characters, to invade their personal body space, just like they are invading ours, to confront and challenge their unacceptable behavior," he said.

"I don't want members of the public looking over their shoulders. I want the yobs looking around in fear," he added.

Morgan said a good start would be for politicians and the media to stop describing children as yobs and their anti-social behavior as "feral."

"They didn't choose their parents or their neighborhoods, and they can't walk away from their circumstances," he said. "I don't think these are appropriate words if we are trying to build a culture of respect."

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Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: Mr Tumnus on 06/20/05 at 11:23 am

What's your point Billy?

A girl was raped here in the UK last week - the images recorded on one of the assailants' mobile phones.

Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: Billy Florio on 06/20/05 at 2:37 pm


What's your point Billy?

A girl was raped here in the UK last week - the images recorded on one of the assailants' mobile phones.


i figured it was newsworthy enough to be brought up.  And its also to laugh at the horrible grammer the person online has.  thats it. 

Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: Paul on 06/20/05 at 5:26 pm

Basically goes to show what a generation of pr*ts we're churning out...

And you want to see some of their parents - talk about knuckles scraping on the floor...

Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: JamieMcBain on 06/20/05 at 7:23 pm

Sounds horrible, what the ?  ::)

Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: Mr Tumnus on 06/21/05 at 3:46 am


Basically goes to show what a generation of pr*ts we're churning out...

And you want to see some of their parents - talk about knuckles scraping on the floor...


Yeah Paul - this is why there are so many dumb imbeciles around these day - they've all bred like fury for the last 20 years  (because they have nothing else to do but go and claim their social security, usually fraudulenty) and we're now over-run with Chavs with their only aim in life to be 'awarded' an ASBO.

I'd like some of these freaks to just stop constantly over-producing ever more clones of themselves.

Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: Gis on 06/21/05 at 4:39 am


i figured it was newsworthy enough to be brought up.  And its also to laugh at the horrible grammer the person online has.  thats it. 
The grammer is actually mobile/cell phone speak and you even have kids handing in essays at school written completely like that if it weren't so sad it would be funny............

Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: Indy Gent on 06/21/05 at 1:29 pm

If any stranger slapped my at random, they wouldn't have a hand left. (Just talk, I know, but I'd at least call the cops.

Subject: Re: British Happy slapping

Written By: bj26 on 06/21/05 at 2:19 pm


If any stranger slapped my at random, they wouldn't have a hand left. (Just talk, I know, but I'd at least call the cops.
How bout take their cell phone, call the cops, they bury the phone up their bum?

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