Blame the parents / children - Falkirk Bairn
Newish upmarket housing development, lots of new / nearly new cars and lots of young children and a few teenagers.

An 18 year old drives about faster than desirable, so a neighbour has a word with the parents. The parents take umbrage at ?this interference? in their son?s life.

A few weeks later AN Other neighbour sees another teenager, of the same family, breaking a great many laws. Knowing of the ?previous history? of complaining to the parents he decides to phone the Police.

In a month he hears nothing. Then, last week, out of the blue he gets a call from the local Constabulary - apologising for not investigating the matter raised in August.

The boy, age 15/16yrs had been caught by the Traffic Division driving his mother?s car on the open road. Exactly the information they had been given 3 weeks earlier that they had chosen to ignore or forget about!

The boy has now apparently been charged with Theft of a car, driving underage, no licence, no insurance??! And will appear before a Children?s Panel in the coming weeks

This is one of the Police Forces who have lots of Gatsos, ScammeraVans???????.In recent months there have been many court cases involving death on the road in the force area - usually young drivers and speeding.
Blame the parents / children - Armitage Shanks {p}
If it comes to court he'll probably get a caution and then a safari holiday for a bit of team building and bonding with fellow chavs!
Blame the parents / children - DP
I am trying to work out what the consequences would have been had I been caught driving my dad's car at 15/16 yrs old on public roads. The police and legal system would have been the absolute least of my worries.

Blame the parents / children - Hamsafar
He will probably get sent a taxi to pick him up to go on a first aid course at the local Salvation Army 9am sharp and a voucher for a free McDonalds at lunch break. That's what he would get in Nottingham. Anyone else would have to pay. It's not called the doublespeak Criminal Justice System for nothing.

Edited by Hamsafar on 13/09/2009 at 15:48

Blame the parents / children - Old Navy
Social engineering, another political cock up.
Blame the parents / children - Nsar
Inspired by the 'parking on pavements' thread last week I e-mailed Greater Manchester Police to alert them to a car which I've not seen before, has been parked in an odd place, two wheels on the pavement of a main road, for about 3 or more weeks.

I gave the make, model and reg plate and location to within 50 metres.

Guess what has happened.

That's right.

Blame the parents / children - Hamsafar
"Guess what has happened." - you received a visit from the hate crime unit, who said someone had accused you of looking at them funny?

Edited by Hamsafar on 13/09/2009 at 16:05

Blame the parents / children - Lud
Parents who 'take umbrage' when courteously approached by a neighbour with a reasonable complaint about their offspring's misdeeds are themselves silly adolescents who are inaccessible to reasoned discourse. This country is full of such people aged in some cases well into their fifties.

A charm offensive - effusive greetings whenever you see them, invitations to barbecues, gifts of new-baked cakes - may just possibly cow them into submission. If that doesn't work though, arson may be the only answer. Not that I am recommending it you understand (it is rightly regarded with shuddering disgust by the police and others).
Blame the parents / children - welshlad
in my younger days my parents had a network of spies(thats how it felt) nieghbours etc wouldnt think twice about grassing even minor misdemeanors to my parents and i think thats why i was always good (well never illegal anyway) these days you complain to a nieghbour your more likely to come away with a bread knife sticking out of your chest
Blame the parents / children - stunorthants26
>>Parents who 'take umbrage' when courteously approached by a neighbour with a reasonable complaint about their offspring's misdeeds are themselves silly adolescents who are inaccessible to reasoned discourse.<<

Indeed. I have a neighbour who has a 17 year old daughter. Not long after she passed her test, she followed my wife and I out of our road in her battered Punto and down the country lanes.
She then proceeded to overtake on a straight 50M stretch of road which has high hedges and at the end of the straight is a blind S-bend which by the end of the overtake she had to negociate on the wrong side of the road. This was also at night btw and at about 50 mph.

Now, id be horrified if that was my daughter, so I let her mum know what we had seen.
A week later, her father saunters up to me and states that it couldnt possibly be his daughter and it was someone else. Someone else presumably who looks like her, drives a car with the same reg number and lives at their house ( we saw her come out the house and get into the car ). Hmm. He didnt even ask me how I knew, I guess she has a sweet face and he is soft in the head.

As an additional note, she still drives like her backside is on fire as a couple of times ive come across her coming towards me on the wrong side of the road down some of the nearby lanes. She has a hedge/ditch/farmers field with her name on it someone. Just a matter of time I suspect.

Any child of mine is going to have the most chronically slow car I can find and if anyone actually thinsk to cross the street for a quiet word about their driving, I for one will take it seriously and not let pride get in the way of common sense. Its far more likely your child is a bad driver than your neighbour has a vendetta against them. Teens are invariably quite stupid behind the wheel, its hardly unknown!
Blame the parents / children - gordonbennet
Indeed Stu, my nephew has just returned to work after the car accident he was passenger in some months ago just around the corner from you.

He isn't right though and he may never regain the feeling in his hand/fingers fully.
We are thankful though that the head injury wasn't a fraction of an inch lower and was just above his eye, perish the thought.

This was idiot speed in the wrong place in the wrong hands and it could so easily have been 10 times worse.

I daresay like your neighbours daughter, they need to find out the hard way, and they invariably do.

I don't suppose we were any better, but our cars of the time (the heaps we could afford) simply couldn't get around the first bend if driven like a loon, maybe we learn't faster who knows.

S'funny thing about modern parents though, i think most of us here would have been mortified for our parents to have a complaint against us whether at school or later, it certainly wouldn't have resulted in my father squaring up against the teacher/complainant thats for sure.

Not sure if the accepted normal parent/child relationship exists any more in many places.
Blame the parents / children - Bromptonaut
We have a feature exiting the village known locally as Knitter's Bend. Stu & Gb probably both know it's whereabouts. Relatively undramatic but sharpish bend on a road between low hedged fields. Clearly visible and well signposted.

I'd say around three or four times a year I see a car in the ditch, hedge or in extremis fields. I pass twice a day at regular times and must miss many more.

Mostly chav cars but the occasional family saloon.
Blame the parents / children - Bromptonaut
FB, could you explain, for the benefit of us English, the Children's Panel?
Blame the parents / children - Harleyman
Back when I was 15, I bought an old Honda 50 motorbike for field use; in decent nick and everything worked on it. Think I paid a tenner.

Temptation naturally overcame fear of being caught, so one day I set off to visit a mate in the next village; on the way there my father passed the other way in his car. I waited till he was out of sight, turned round and set off for the farm track where I normally rode the bike; eventually went home and kept well out of the old man's way for the rest of the day.

Nothing was said. However, several days later a Triumph 2000 patrol car pulled up in our drive, two bobbies in full uniform got out, asked for me, then proceeded to give me a fair old dressing down about the consequences of my actions; they extracted a promise from me that I would not be so foolish again, they went on their way and I kept my word.

It wasn't till some years later that my Dad revealed that he'd had a "word" with the police and had instigated the whole thing, knowing full well that a rollicking from him wouldn't have had the same effect.

I can't somehow see that happening today, sadly.
Blame the parents / children - gordonbennet
It wasn't till some years later that my Dad revealed that he'd had a "word"
with the police

Ah but how much better HM, your Dad knowing he could trust the Bill not to nick you, you being rollicked quite properly and in doing so the Bill made a young lad realise that the cops could have pushed it much further, and having more than half a brain didn't do it again.

Proper Dad, proper coppering, result...adventurous lad grows into decent man.

sounds like a story from another time.
Blame the parents / children - Lud
sounds like a story from another time.


But as an optimist I like to think perhaps not so unknown even today, that sort of thing.
Blame the parents / children - NowWheels
It wasn't till some years later that my Dad revealed that he'd had a "word"
with the police and had instigated the whole thing knowing full well that a rollicking
from him wouldn't have had the same effect.
I can't somehow see that happening today sadly.

It can happen today, and does: my local police have done it for a few local tearaways.

Doesn't always happen, though. Some police aren't so subtle.
Blame the parents / children - Falkirk Bairn
FB could you explain for the benefit of us English the Children's Panel?

Children's Panel is instead of a Juvenile Court - Social Workers, Lawyers, ordinary Citizens.
They can fine, borstal, probation care etc but it sits in a room rather than a court. No Wigs/Witness boxes etc so that the little angels are traumatized etc
Blame the parents / children - ifithelps
Children's Panel - Scotland only:

Much worthy talk of mending broken children and doing what's best for them.

No talk of the blight and misery these criminal youngsters bring to their communities.

Do-gooders are all very well - if they do any good.

Blame the parents / children - NowWheels
Much worthy talk of mending broken children and doing what's best for them.
No talk of the blight and misery these criminal youngsters bring to their communities.

A high proportion of those clogging up the prisons (at vast cost to the taxpayer) are habitual criminals who have a messy history: high rates of illiteracy, many of them have been in care, many come from dysfunctional families.

The ongoing cost of people who bounce in and out of the criminal justice system is enormous. If early intervention can avoid that, there is a prospect of massive savings to the taxpayer both in costs of the criminal justice system and in the costs of crime.

I don't know how well this new approach is working, but there's plenty of evidence that simply focusing on punishment of children has worked really badly, propelling them from borstal to prison and gradually labelling them so strongly that other doors close to them. The old approach had demonstrably poor results, and it seems to me to be important to try something which stands a chance of breaking the cycle of crime.

Before condemning it, I'd want to see some evidence that it produces results even worse than the abysmal failures of the get-tough-on-kids approach.
Blame the parents / children - Falkirk Bairn
My DiL has a number of seriously disturbed kids, drink, drugs, prostitution, ......criminal parents.....some have all in the one home. One witnessed her father kill a neighbour with a machete at 5.30pm one sunny evening!

Problem is local authority says it has no money for special schools = £1000+/week

Borstal/Prison is paid by Central Government

2 authorities who are both unwilling to invest in straightening out disturbed/criminal activity

Th revolving door will continue ad infinitum
Blame the parents / children - stunorthants26
The problem is that we have kids who dont consider the law mandatory, much like many of the posters on this forum and while it is all well and good us adults arguing the finer points of the greyness of law, kids are on the whole far more black/white and no grey in between, so its either right to break the law, or its not. That is the fault of a large majority of adults today who are influencing them.

When I was brought up in the 80's, it was do as your told or fear the consequences ( I never actually found out what they were but it was understood they werent to my liking ) - it wasnt until I was 18 that I spent much time wondering if the law was correct or not.
Toughness in itself is absolutely right with kids BUT you need a ridgid framework that they know they can work within. My son is 3 but he knows what he is and isnt allowed to do and that never changes with the exception of expansions on his freedom on account of his age, we keep it utterly consistant because he needs that as all children do.

I spent quite alot of my younger years working with young teens who werent shall we say, easy to handle. What they thrived on was structure, yes they would complain, but they knew the structure meant they knew what would and wouldnt get them in trouble.
I was never remotely soft with them though - one lad, 14, slammed the door of my car because he was having a bad day despite me asking him not to do so having done it once before. One sideways look at him and he knew he had overstepped the boundry and he literally hid under the stairs for an hour until his mum came home. She thought it was funny as she could never get quite that reaction from him and wanted to know how id managed to make a strapping 14 yo so afraid of the consequences of a rule infringement.

Im afraid of prison, Im afraid of loosing my freedom and it is that which stops people from breaking the law - loose the fear of that and you loose any control over the individual. These kids are simply not afraid enough.
Blame the parents / children - NowWheels
Im afraid of prison Im afraid of loosing my freedom and it is that which
stops people from breaking the law - loose the fear of that and you loose
any control over the individual. These kids are simply not afraid enough.

I'm not sure that you're right about that. Here's a true story, as best as I can recall it after fourteen years.

I stayed on late in the office one winter evening before going off to an appointment (there wasn't time to go home first). The other buildings in the office park were empty, and I was the last person in our small building, so the place was quiet.

I had planned to leave at 7pm, but shortly before then I heard a breaking glass noise outside, so dashed out to investigate. My car (a rusty 12yo Datsun Sunny) had two broken windows and a smashed headlight, so I grabbed the torch from the glovebox, and used it to find the culprit hiding in the nearby bushes. I reckoned he was about ten years old, but later heard he was twelve.

I managed to corner him, and dragged him into my office, where I locked him in the loo, before calling the police. They took about 25 minutes to arrive, so I eventually let him out of the loo and we sat down to chat.

First, there was the predictable nonsense.

"It wasn't me". Fine, tell that to the police and see how you get on.

"My friend did it". And where is he now?

"Dunno". Well, you can help the police find him.

"Can't do that, dunno his name or where he lives". Well, see how you get on telling the police that.

So I dropped all that and started asking him about himself. Eventually I got a much more interesting story out of him.

His Dad had left, and he lived with his mum. Mum's boyfriend hated him, and used to beat him ... so he stayed out of the house as much as he possibly could, until as late as he could. And yes, he said, it was scary being out alone in the dark.

School was no better -- he was bullied there. He described a lot of what happened, and it sounded pretty nasty.

Anyway, when the police came and took him away, I went to the station and gave a statement. The officer taking the statement was decent enough, though fairly fed up with this sort of thing.

However he called me a few days later. The kid had confessed to trashing my car, and identified his accomplice -- and the pair of them 'fessed up to having trashed ten other cars in the area over the previous few weeks, including some which were much posher vehicles, and much more extensively damaged.

But he also said that they'd checked out the child's home situation, and it was much worse than I'd thought. No details, he just said it was much worse.

I don't know what happened in that case, but I can't see how a severe punishment would have made things any better. Those kids needed less fear in their lives, not more. It's not rocket science to figure out that a kid who is given hell at home and hell at school will start giving hell to others.
Blame the parents / children - Lud
Good stuff NW, humane. No rational person could disagree.

The thought of what is to be done about it begs a lot of questions though, social, political and historical. Big ones. Grim ones.
Blame the parents / children - Westpig
Permissive 60's....children are 'little people' let them express themselves....leave the discipline until it's too late (yes they need love as well, lots of it) to set and keep to boundaries.....prevent teachers/police etc from doing their bit....sledgehammer to crack nut legislation (everyone knows an Actual Bodily Harm when they see it)....

it's probably too late

when I did a load of Custody work in the past, there'd be kids brought in, that the first person in many years who'd actually said 'no' to them...was me....and i'd agree that a cell isn't appropriate, but what else is there?
Blame the parents / children - Lud
NW was talking about the second or third stage after that Wp - when people who have been raised without proper standards and perhaps abused themselves have these poor neglected children. They don't just spoil them, they ignore them, set them a bad example and in extreme cases treat them cruelly. Of course there are many gradations, most of them superficially not too bad at a cursory glance.

My own feeling is that school has been undermined by lazy pedagogy and obsessive one-size-fits-all egalitarianism. What we used to call education is now thought to be 'authoritarian' and 'elitist'. Teaching children to think properly, even to read and write and spell and add and subtract, is considered an infringement of their human rights.

That was what set in in the sixties, and it is the less successful products of that who are now having these problem children and sometimes being a problem themselves.

It isn't just education that has been undermined though. Social and economic policies that were well-intended in the first place are now abused by everyone upstream and down, and corrupting us all.
Blame the parents / children - NowWheels
You're right Lud. Big, grim questions.

Give-'em-a-hug won't fix it, and nor will give-'em-a-good hiding. No easy answers here.

Two factors here strike me as being much underestimated.

First is that govt policy and economic pressure means that most two-parent households have two parents out at work (the exceptions being the unemployed underclass). That means lack of supervision for kids, and lack of parental time and energy for problem-solving.

The other is that as the Aficans say, "it takes a village to raise a child". Nowadays, stranger-danger fears means most of the village doesn't dare get involved.

Obviously, there's a lot more to it than that. But I think that Cameron is right to talk of a "broken society" -- it's just that his solution of trying to support marriages is far too simplistic.
Blame the parents / children - Lud
as the Aficans say, "it takes a village to raise a child".

Very good point NW. The selfish, paranoid, suburban 'nuclear family' with its narcissistic sham happiness has a lot to answer for.
Blame the parents / children - Westpig
I think we're all in agreement...can't fault your logic.