Casemates blow-up confirms upward trend in public disorder, says party

New Gibraltar Democracy says it notes "with regret but not surprise", reports that there was trouble on Tuesday night at Casemates where an important World Cup match was being transmitted on a wide screen. This was the match between England and Sweden.

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It is now obvious that every event including National Day, the pre ? Christmas period, and even Holy Week (not to mention ?Halloween?), is marred by the behaviour of certain groups of youths. On this occasion, it is understood that a small number of Swedes were set upon by a larger group of youths, who then turned on the police.

The NGD says it advocates zero tolerance for repeat offenders but it is also plain that there is an upward trend in public disorder and juvenile disorientation which needs to be addressed by the schools, the Church and other social bodies.

"For too long, the increasing tide of anti-social conduct has been brushed aside as the product of a small minority of our youth and masked by the good academic results of many young Gibraltarians. Others still do a terrible disservice to our community when they excuse the problem on the grounds that there are similar situations in some other towns. In this atmosphere of complacency too many young people are leaving our schools with little education and lacking even basic social skills," says NGD's Charles Gomez.

ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

Added to this there are continuing reports of shop keepers selling alcohol to under aged citizens. More seriously still, recent police captures of significant amounts of drugs locally indicates that there is thriving demand, most probably among young people, they say.

Apart from complacency among the navel gazing political elite, NGD believes that youth disaffection festers most in the high rise, impersonal estates to which many Gibraltarian families are condemned. These estates have been and continue to be built with profit as the only goal and lack the basic facilities that children need when they are growing up; play areas, swimming pools and gardens.

More and more Gibraltarians families are, as a result moving to Spain, but not all can afford this, although in view of the unfriendly place that Gibraltar is being turned into it is possible that many more would leave if they could afford it.

Gibraltar needs to ponder very deeply indeed as to the reasons behind increasing disaffection among our youth, they say.




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