Monday, December 5, 2011

Community safety: Parents found wanting

Martin Power, UL

UL Sociology Dept launched a report on November 4th that, if its recommendations were implemented, could make life a lot easier for people in communities plagued by anti-social behaviour.

“It’s a taboo topic, but everyone we spoke to mentioned children who were not being parented,” said Dr Cliona Barnes, co-author of the ‘Feeling Safe in Our Community’with Dr Martin Power.
“We didn’t anticipate the level of discussion about poor parenting from parents, all the residents’ groups, single parents, married parents, elderly parents, estate workers, all of the officals we spoke to. And this notion that the HSE should be responsible.

“Young people below the age of criminal responsibility are the main people responsible for unsafety. Not meaning to sensationalise it, or red-top it, but some people we spoke to are afraid of children, as young as four, because of who they might be related to.

“There’s a breakdown between the older generations and younger people. Older people are genuinely afraid of young people, it’s a big problem.

“So who is responsible when parents aren’t?”

The report is available in hard copy format through UL.

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