After six years of waiting for the Hilsea Lido to reopen, it only took a day for a group of yobs to ruin it for other users.
There is a sad inevitability to it all that allows people prone to blame youngsters for all of today’s ills to have their fill.
The anti-social behaviour of this group of youngsters plays right into their hands.
But in this instance they are quite right.
These children need to be taught that their actions have consequences.
As a result of the imbecilic behaviour, they have not only ruined things for themselves, but have made things more difficult for the hundreds of other young people who would have been looking forward to using the lido over the summer holidays.
The weather has been beautiful, and the lido has been packed with families keen to make the most of it – many for the first time.
Those people – and the staff for that matter – should have every expectation that they can come to the lido and use it without fear of harm or abuse.
The parents need to accept some of the blame here too. As Helen Downing-Emms succinctly put it: ‘We have to educate parents to understand the lido is not a creche.
‘We need to educate children to understand their behaviour impacts on other people and their own lives.’
Too many are quick to pass the buck and fail to accept responsibility for their actions these days.
As a result of this incident, very clear action has been taken. We can only hope that people of all ages who wish to use the lido will heed the message. It’s not that difficult to have a bit of respect for others.
However, we have to remember that not all youngsters are ill-behaved yobs. Far from it, as today we also celebrate the good things our young people do in our annual Youth Awards.
We must not let the actions of a small minority overshadow the achievements of the many kind, talented and dedicated children and teenagers who live in this area.