So this is a crackdownthen?

PUBLISHED: 11:34 10 November 2006 | UPDATED: 22:21 28 May 2010

The shaming and frightening statistics that prove that British teenagers are the worst behaved in the whole of Europe doesn t seem to have raised so much as an eyebrow locally. I don t think I ve heard it mentioned by anyone at all. But we should all be h

The shaming and frightening statistics that prove that British teenagers are the worst behaved in the whole of Europe doesn't seem to have raised so much as an eyebrow locally.

I don't think I've heard it mentioned by anyone at all.

But we should all be horrified, even if we're not totally surprised, particularly as the news was released at about the same time that a police officer discovered a teenager toting a gun in a Fenland town centre.

The unnamed teenager was proudly showing a gas-powered pistol to his mates as they sat, in the early evening, on the steps on a supermarket in Wisbech.

The gun was confiscated and made safe and the lad, aged 18, was subsequently cautioned for possessing a Class C drug (cannabis) and possessing a loaded weapon in a public place.

The gun came to light during a special anti-social behaviour crackdown by Fenland Police, and full marks must go to the observant officer who spotted the youngsters and the potential danger.

But shame on his superiors. A caution is woefully inadequate. The teenager will believe, quite wrongly, that he has beaten the system. Even though he has lost his gun, he can replace it easily, and relatively cheaply, via the internet.

The real worry, of course, is that if this feral youngster was showing off his gun to his friends, it could well mean that guns are now the must-have status symbols to enable teenagers to achieve the street cred that they deem so important.

Which, of course, could mean there are any number of guns in the hands of immature, impressionable and dangerous people, in March, Wisbech, Whittlesey and Chatteris.

And this perceived victory over the forces of law and order will send out the wrong message to the many people, young and not so young, who lurk around the streets of Fenland because they can find nothing constructive to do.

I hope I'm wrong, but I fear I'm not.

If police feel that their anti-social behaviour crackdown in Wisbech was a success - and I am led to believe they do - then we should all hope our Constabulary will have the foresight and good sense to organise similar crackdowns in the other Fenland towns - and repeat them on a regular basis.

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