Grumpy old men suffering from “Victor Meldrew syndrome” are in danger of demonising all young people as yobs and hooligans, a police chief has warned.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick, who is in charge of youth crime for the Metropolitan Police, argued that “youthful exuberance” that would have been tolerated 20 years ago was increasingly being described as antisocial behaviour.
Mr Paddick partly blamed the widely held belief that today’s youths are more disrespectful and antisocial than previous generations on people who resembled the curmudgeonly Meldrew character (above) in the television series One Foot in the Grave. He told The Independent: “Behaviour by young people that was tolerated 20 or 30 years ago is now considered to be unacceptable. Society is perhaps less tolerant of exuberant behaviour than it has been in the past.
“When kids used to play football in the street and hit a car people used to not be particularly concerned about it. Now it would probably result in a heated argument in the street between the car owner and the young person.”
Indeed, whatever happened to the good old days when there was so much more tolerance and compassion for young people?