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Many Britons Consider Children Dangerous

by Gopalan on November 17, 2008 at 8:08 PM
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 Many Britons Consider Children Dangerous

Britons seem to have a very poor view of their own children. Almost half of the 2,021 adults interviewed by YouGov said the children are "dangerous." Some even described them as vermin.

Some 54% of the adults covered by the survey thought that British children behaved like "animals".


More than a third of those surveyed also agreed that the streets were "infested" with children, while 43% said something had to be done to protect adults.

Around 49% said they disagreed with the statement that children who "get into trouble" were "misunderstood" and needed professional help.

Children's charity Barnardo's, which commissioned the study, said society "casually condemned" children.

It is behind a controversial awareness campaign, with TV and internet adverts showing adults hunting "vermin", which turn out to be children.

The adverts, intended to show how society demonises young people, will be launched on 24 November.

The charity also examined comments left on stories published on the website of several national newspapers.

Staff found messages where children were described as "feral" and some suggestions teenagers should be "shot".

The charity's chief executive Martin Narey said the British population was guilty of labelling all children in the same way.

He said: "It is appalling that words like animal, feral and vermin are used daily in reference to children.

"Despite the fact that most children are not troublesome there is still a perception that today's young people are a more unruly, criminal lot than ever before.

"The British public overestimates, by a factor of four, the amount of crime committed by young people.

"The real crime is that this sort of talk and attitude does nothing to help those young people who are difficult, unruly or badly behaved to change their ways."

The charity claimed that the attitudes revealed by its study reflected the results of the latest British Crime Survey.

These showed that people blame children for "up to half of all crime" when in fact they are only responsible for 12% of criminal activity.

Last month, the United Nations said there was a "general climate of intolerance" towards British children and this could result in them being treated unfairly.

Barnardo's has also published a report called Breaking the Cycle.

The report stated that children who carry out illegal and antisocial behaviour were those most in need of support.

It also claimed that young people who become involved in criminal activity come from the most deprived families, have the poorest educational experiences and are more likely to suffer from poor health.

Mr Narey said the charity was not "naive" and accepted a "minority of children" were anti-social and committed crimes, BBC reported.

He said action had to be taken to prevent those at risk of criminal behaviour from following that path.

Source: Medindia

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