Yobs 'will be forced to wear uniforms'

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The Independent Online

The crackdown on teenage dress codes could see those convicted of anti-social behaviour forced to wear military-style uniforms while they carry out community service punishments.

The crackdown on teenage dress codes could see those convicted of anti-social behaviour forced to wear military-style uniforms while they carry out community service punishments.

Hazel Blears, the Home Office minister, has raised the idea to ensure "justice is seen to be done" in the fight against the "culture of disrespect". Her remarks come after the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, one of the biggest in the country, banned youths from wearing hooded tops or baseball caps.

Ms Blears, who backed the ban, also turned her fire on parents, arguing that the lack of structure in family life was a prime cause of anti-social behaviour. She suggested parents should enforce bed times, eat meals together and be aware of their children's clothes.

Calling for a culture of respect for other people, she said: "The practical part is that you don't spit at them, you don't swear at them, you don't intimidate other people."

But her call for uniforms for convicted youths drew criticism. Chris Stanley, head of policy for the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, said: "There is no evidence from anywhere that this type of thing has any deterrent effect."