The Golfing Coarse; Yobs to Get [Pounds Sterling]10,000 for Free Lessons to Prevent Them Following a Life of Crime

Daily Mail (London), March 1, 1999 | Go to article overview

The Golfing Coarse; Yobs to Get [Pounds Sterling]10,000 for Free Lessons to Prevent Them Following a Life of Crime


Byline: TINA DAWSON

YOUNG tearaways are to be given free golf lessons at a cost of thousands of pounds to the taxpayer.

Social workers believe learning golf will turn problem teenagers away from crime, but politicians are angry at what they call a misuse of public money.

Councillors will give golf lessons worth [pounds sterling]10,000 to 20 teenagers who police and social workers believe are likely to turn to crime or become persistent offenders.

Through the controversial scheme, organised by West Dun-bartonshire Council, the children will be taught by a professional on a municipal golf course at a cost of [pounds sterling]500 per head.

Last night the revelation that so much public money was to be spent on such a small number of children provoked anger from politicians. Lyndsay McIntosh, the Conservative spokesman on law and order, said the idea would infuriate residents.

She said: 'What about the law-abiding citizens who can't afford golf lessons? I am paying [pounds sterling]10 an hour for golf lessons for my son.

It's a shame he's not out vandalising things so he could have them for free. It's my own fault for bringing him up to know what right and wrong is.'

She added: 'If these children are at risk of doing acts of vandalism, they should send them on a course to teach them right and wrong.

How about them learning about the effects of vandalism on people that would be more constructive.' Donald Gorrie, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman said he feared the scheme would be seen as rewarding crime.

He said: 'We don't want a sign that if you are doing things wrong, you get to do a sport. …

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