TWO pieces of legislation just announced look like polarising public opinion about dealing with yobbish behaviour on our streets.

Bolton Council’s licensing committee has declared the whole of the borough a nogo zone for anyone causing trouble when they’re drinking in a public place.

And, presumably to test out the waters, Home Secretary Theresa May announced plans next month to set up “neighbourhood justice panels.”

These would allow residents to haul vandals and hooligans before them to say sorry, and force them to pay compensation or repair damage they’ve caused.

While the former is an excellent idea and very welcome, I can’t say the same about the latter. Such panels would make individuals involved there vulnerable to retribution and persecution, and could promote a vigilante culture with people taking the law into their own hands.

We already have a very good police and justice system. We just need to be able to use established courts effectively. Sorry to sound so negative but, frankly, I can’t see how on earth this idea would work.