Fifty people, including a man wanted on multiple fraud and theft offences, were arrested during a one night operation targeting the rail corridor and public transport network in NSW. Picutre: NSW Police
Fifty people, including a man wanted on multiple fraud and theft offences, were arrested during a one night operation targeting the rail corridor and public transport network in NSW. Picutre: NSW Police

It’s time we lock up public transport punks

Hooray!

A young woman has been jailed for being drunk and abusive on a flight to the UK. Now let's see this sort of meaningful action here.

I'm sick of people getting off scot-free for behaving like grubs and ruining things for others.

Demi Burton, 20, headbutted Etihad crew and bit passengers in a booze-fuelled rage in May 2019.

She was returning to Britain after a long holiday in Australia and, according to her lawyer, didn't relish the idea.

Too bad. I'm sure home will look a whole lot sweeter after six months in the slammer.

People who fail to respect the rights of others - because they don't care or know no better - are spreading through society like the ugliest rash, and precious little is being done.

Passenger on board a flight appears drunk and covered in blood in video posted to Youtube. Picture: Youtube
Passenger on board a flight appears drunk and covered in blood in video posted to Youtube. Picture: Youtube

They're picking fights on trains and assaulting bus drivers, abusing teachers and running amok in classrooms.

I'm not having a cheap shot at "the youth of today" because I know many terrific kids who are principled, thoughtful and motivated to act positively, but when mayhem is becoming mainstream, something has to give.

The erosion of values affects everyone.

A train commute, for instance, should be uneventful - you hop on, find a space, and hop off.

Instead, we have reprobates playing music loudly with the deliberate aim of upsetting other passengers.

Trying to reason with these juveniles whose moral compass is broken is a waste of time.

They'll tell you to f*ck off and keep doing as they please.

Why? Because there are no consequences, and they know it.

Anti-social behaviour gets a slap on the wrist by authorities, if it's dealt with at all.

The full force of the law hasn't been felt in years as we go softly-softly on kids, to their detriment and to society's.

Take the recent case of a Brisbane City Council bus driver who was violently assaulted by a female passenger.

There are very few consequences for anti-social behaviour on public transport. Picture: John Grainger
There are very few consequences for anti-social behaviour on public transport. Picture: John Grainger

Ludicrously, it was the bus driver who was suspended - for grabbing the sleeve of the girl (who allegedly boasted about stealing $5 and how there was nothing the driver could do) - while the girl, who kicked the driver in the stomach, is still permitted to catch buses.

What message does this send to this girl and others?

That society tolerates violence and the law is a joke.

TV commercials urging commuters to respect bus drivers will make not a scrap of difference. They're just another misuse of taxpayer dollars by a government offering too little, too late.

The Palaszczuk Government also has promised to install driver safety barriers, at a cost of millions, in more than half of Queensland buses by June this year.

And it is trialling the deployment of a handful of "customer service officers" on an Ipswich bus line with the aim of reducing violence.

But what powers do these officers have? They can issue warnings and fines, and detain offenders, and that's it.

What happens next will likely be a big fat nothing.

Unfortunately, what all these measures fail to address is the root of the problem - an appalling lack of discipline and instruction in decency, from parents early on.

Ask any teacher about their greatest source of stress, and they'll say it's aggressive brats, and their equally recalcitrant parents who think their kids are being picked on.

Highfields Advanced Care Paramedic Winston Lobegeier talks to the media about his recent assault.
Highfields Advanced Care Paramedic Winston Lobegeier talks to the media about his recent assault.

It's not just educators feeling the heat. Courier-Mail readers are quick to call out growing acceptance of anti-social behaviour.

One 70-year-old retiree, remarking on the troubles on our trains, says: "In my day, all parents demanded the same decent behaviour. If a child played up, a neighbour would reprimand them and their parents would back the neighbour up. There were decency rules to live by."

Another reader observes that unruly youths are a "symptom of the 'it's my right' generation", with parents letting kids carry on like lunatics in other public places, such as cafes.

And yet another says: "It's generational and each generation feels entitled, can't be bothered working, takes all they can and gives back zero. We see this first hand, there is no end to it and it's getting worse by the day."

With parents setting such poor examples, how can a society move forward?

Compulsory classes in positive parenting? As if. Counselling only works if people realise they have a problem and seek help.

When so many homes are turning out young people who think they can do as they please - and stuff everyone else - then an intervention or circuit breaker is required.

Enter swift, certain and appropriate punishment.

When kids act out, they must be reined in - and if parents won't do it, then authorities must.

Perhaps then, the right message will get through.

Without meaningful consequences there will never be compliance.



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