Bravo for Lord Phillips of Sudbury.
It's a bit disappointing that a thrashing was not administered but one can't have everything. An excerpt:
It seems that, if any adult wants to dispute the right of young thugs to misbehave, then not only does he or she do so at considerable personal risk, but with the express disapproval of the forces of law and order.
The implication is that there can only be two figures of authority on the streets - the thugs and the cops. Everyone else must creep around, averting their eyes, hoping that someone will call the police: which might be all right if we could really hope that the police will come, and if there were really enough police to deal with all the forms of anti-social behaviour.