'Make the parents pay for their children's vandalism'

New laws should be brought in to make parents accountable for their children’s actions, according to one deputy.

0407589.jpgNew laws should be brought in to make parents accountable for their children’s actions, according to one deputy.

Housing minister Dave Jones (pictured) added his comments yesterday to the current debate about vandalism in the island.

‘We ought to bring in legislation that would make parents responsible for the actions of their children,’ he said.

‘They have to be held accountable when their children behave in this disgraceful manner. Where there is a lack of discipline, in many respects I have a lot of sympathy for parents - because it has almost become illegal to discipline your children.’

The deputy also suggested that the courts needed to look at sentencing powers.

‘Certainly what we’ve got at the moment is not deterring anybody, because this crime is rising year on year, month on month. We know the courts are not working effectively.

‘We need to hand out sentences so when people commit criminal damage they incur a debt and that follows them until the victim receives some financial compensation for the damage to their property,’ he said.

Comments for: "'Make the parents pay for their children's vandalism'"

Fast Robert

More sensationalist column inches from our favourite rabble-rouser. He thinks that 'it's almost illegal' to discipline children (what was he thinking?) and that the legal recourse does not deter.

Do you think for one moment that these perpetrators of vandalism are thinking about getting caught? Isn't that the whole point of the kicks they're trying to invoke? Does he think that maybe the rebellion in a dissafected youth spells out a more deep-seated malaise within Guernsey's faux Utopia?

For a start, what are the stastistics? Are they any better or worse with comparable UK towns? A macro view needs to be taken - have the prepetrators been through the education system? If so, then why has it failed them? If it is due to parental irresponsibility, where are the social services?

Giving parents charter to beat their children, and the courts to lock them away, will only intensify the 'them and us' attitude that petty criminals adopt for their reasoning. Only inclusion into the re-educative process, involving facing the victim - restorative justice, the understanding of cause and effect in wider terms than just avoiding the belt and the cell, will society wean sociopathic behaviour away from the young.

Now the States are talking about shutting community schools down, a level of education that is extremely helpful in establishing a child's place within their social environment, priorities are made on 'saving money' in public services - the essential glue that binds communities, and giving more breaks to the wealthy individuals that end up being a net drain on societal necessities.

Dave Jones is barking up the wrong paint daubed lamp-post. Education not punishment for impressionable youngsters.


I put the criminal damage rise down to so many single parents. The Social Security Authority appear to do to much to cushion single mothers.

It seems to be a way of life for many rather than working and having a life. I agree that people should pay for damage that they have caused. We have petty debts but the maximum for this is only £2500.

This needs to be increased because if some feral kid burned out a new car it is nothing at all. A lot of these feral kids are this way due to the way the parent(s) have dragged them up.

Our authorities have themselves to blame here also. Children need parents that care and want the best for them. Sadly in many cases they end up with a mother that takes drugs, drinks or just lives for the weekends.

Boyfriends that tend to come and go and they are there for the mother and most tend to dispise the child(ren).

In a lot of cases a father that would love to play their part is stifled. This tends to be due to the fact that the mother has complete control and the dad ends up being alienated completely.

I know so many people that have spent large amounts of money on lawyers to have access to their children.

The mother turns on the crocodile tears, sobs her heart out, and makes the father out to be an animal when in reality the mother is nothing other than a drama queen.

People need to be taught the value in having a family. Many see it as an easy way to opt out and have a states property provided free of charge with the bonus of an income dished out on a weekly basis.

Both parents should have equal rights over childen. Before the critics start blasting me down I am well aware of some dads that are a waste of space and could not give two hoots about their children.

However a bitter woman will and does use whatever she can for leverage in an arguement. It is such a shame that this can include children.

Families that stay together in todays day and age tend to be rare. It is about time that useless parents are held accountable for their childrens actions. I am quite sure that this could be reduced if mothers had their controling rights taken away from them.

The whole system needs careful exmination because not only is criminal damage rife crimes in general are also increasing and geting more serious.

Respect is a word that a lot of kids have no understanding of. Values as a whole are rare in some kids nowadays. They don't fear much and know that little will be done if they get caught for whatever it is they are doing wrong.

Many kids know that they can't be prosecuted. Can't be punished so in their minds they have nothing to lose. Just create mayhem as a release for their frustrations and anger at having a mother that could not care less and a father that they never get to spend any time with.

We have far to many scummy mummies on this Island. The offsprings are just another branch of the bitterness they are brought into through ignorance of family values.


Deterrants, sentencing powers, legislation. All words included in deputy Jonses' comments. Also mentioned was 'accountability' and as usual, as a deputy, accountability refers to someone else, in this case the parents.

In trying trying to find a solution to this problem, my opinion would be to first find the cause. This is a societal problem and poliicians blaming the parents is just shifting responsibility.

If more politicians stopped pandering to commerce and tuned their skills in social engineering, i'm sure the causes of this problem could be eliminated.

A societal problem such as this arises due to something amiss, stamping on it with legislation would be akin to wiping out flies because they are a nuisance. Wipe out the flies and the whole ecosystem crumbles. Stamp on the youth because you don't like their message will result in further damage to society.


Love your style of writing and thoughts, definately asks the questions!

Good read.


If someone vandalises property they should be responsible for ensuring that property is returned to its pre-vandalism condition. There should be no costs to the public. Therefore, when setting the fee for the fine, it should include the hourlt rate of the police and courts.

If someone is charged with assult, they should be responible for all the medical bills for the victim as well as (once again, police and court costs)

If this results in fines with multiple zeros (i.e. +1000's) then well be it. At least the fines will cover the cost to the public, which at present we the general public are picking up.

It would also make people more concerned about commiting crime if they know they had to true pay for it in every facet.

Make the fines match the crime!!! at no cost to the public purse.

Dave Help

Reading Deputy Jones' letter, make me feel sick that he can put the blame on the parents foe this problem. he says it's almost illegal to discipline your children, and that is the crux of the matter, it IS illegal to smack your child when young, or at any time, to discipline them, and as they grow older, they learn to realise this, and play on it. It's because of the so called, Do Gooders, that we have this appalling social problem today, They tell us we cannot smack our children if they are wicked, Please don't get me wrong, I do not condone hitting the child with a strap, or stick, or any thing like that, But as young children, all that would be needed is a smack on the back of the legs, or on the wrist, Like I did with my child when he was young, and even now at 19 years of age, he does as he is told, and he is in a good job, so slight punishment does work. the police occasionally catch these people who vandalise property, around the Island, To do that they need transport, then why don't the courts take that transport off the people, and sell to recoup some of the costs of repairs. I would suggest Deputy Jones concentrate on the housing problems of Guernsey, instead of poking his nose into some thing he doesn't obviously grasp fully. reading between the lines of Deputy Jones comments, he hasn't suffered from his children doing things like vandalism, well, good on him, but then again his children haven't had to live on a low budget, like a majority of the locals on the island. I seriously believe parents should be allowed to chastise their in a mild form, as this will instil discipline into the child at a young age, and stand them in good stead for the future, Then the Deputy Jones' of the future cannot accuse other people of the problems they them selves have created.


Another of these so called politicians trying to tell grandma how to suck eggs;

when these politicians can keep their own house in order then maybe, just maybe we might listen.

Did he pay for his actions some time ago?

Then there's that other one;

Guernsey men as a rule don't make long speeches; so I'll not alter that fact; But I will say this to the Chief minister (ho ho) in short;

Guernsey people would sooner have the Bailiff do as he's always done; and let the chief minister look after what ever he looks after; the encroach upon our way of life is like a disease,it spreads.

Devils Advocate

Food for thought....

How about creating a new section of diseases under a social disease umbrella.

i) vandalism - this mental disease disrupts the mind in an anti social manner, anyone with this 'sickness' can show total lack of respect for other peoples property, this can result wanton destruction for no reason. People showing signs of this chronic disease require urgent treatment (one week in a psychiatric institution for example).

Would this not reduce the urge to impress their peers in such a manner!!

Outrageously radical? yes, workable?


Devils Advocate.

An interesting point in as much as wanton destruction of property could be the result of a mental problem. However please refer to the earlier post. (Steven| January 13, 2009 at 2:27 pm) Specifically "In trying to find a solution to this problem, my opinion would be to first find the cause."

Now as a for instance imagine that an innocent person is suffering from paranoia due to being criminalised on the sole evidence of being the only person seen in the vicinity of the crime. Now suppose this paranoia led him to commit a crime. This person would indeed benefit from the treating of his paranoia and, if successful, would indeed result in no further criminal behaviour on his part due to his having suffered paranoia. However this would do nothing to correct the injustice in the first place and would leave the possibility that the above scenario is repeated ad infinitum to other innocent people.

The most interesting point that you made however was that a solution may lie in the threat of treating a possible mental disorder. For this to work one would need to rely on the subject believing that a mental disorder is socially unacceptable. For a person to believe that this would be a solution would also need to believe that a mental disorder is socially unacceptable. Devils Advocate, by advocating such a solution you are, probably unwittingly so, perpetuating descrimination against people with such disorders which in turn make them much more difficult to detect and treat untill they become very obvious and pronounced, possibly by displaying a destructive attitude.

So as you may now be able to see that unless this problem is solved, by first understanding the problem, matters can easily be made much worse.


Many thanks for your kind words GBG, one does try to entertain.


Dave Help

Don't knock Deputy Jones too hard. I think he was expressing his frustration at having certain anti discipline laws imposed on us by our much larger neighbours.

I welcome him poking his nose outside of his Housing responsibilities. At least he is never shy of telling it how it is. Jones for DCM !


Thanks for the insight into your life history,it helps to explain many of your very angry postings.

Fast Robert

Your solution appears to entail throwing money at the problem. Trouble is that almost all of your posts on other subjects call for the abolition of wealth creation in the island,either by not letting wealth creators in or taxing them out of business.

There's something to be said about the Arabs

( am I allowed to use the word Arab? ) Didn't they used to ,or perhaps they still do, cut the hands off miscreants?

A bit over the top for Guernsey perhaps but 30 - 40 years of wishy washy,whippy dippy,namby pamby,hoity toity,la di da , be careful not to hurt the little darling's feelings,has only made matters worse

It is so difficult to catch these brave people who cut trees down in the night or kick wing mirrors off or spray their juvenile messages on walls.When they are actually caught for goodness sake let the Courts hit them really really hard as a deterrent to others.If that means fining the parents then good.

Devils Advocate

Steven, I think I may not have explained myself as clearly as I had thought.

I was not saying 'it could be the result of a mental problem'.

My radical idea is aimed to specifically deal with a social problem normally associated with younger members of society who have a low self esteem and a need to 'act big' as a small group/gang leader or one out to 'prove themselves' to get 'respect' from their peers.

Furthermore, they are elevated amongst their peers when they get press coverage on their activities.

The above thought process would I think break down, if acts of vandalism, where considered by society to be perpetrated not by 'vandals' but by a NEW mental health condition. This in itself would render the act far less glamorous by the mere fact that to be considered 'sick/unbalanced' is not the quite what someone with a low self esteem would wish to be associated with.

Fining parents is a way of being seen to be doing something about the problem, but that only works if they are caught. My rather rough but radical idea deals with the issue at at a peer pressure level!!


Devils Advocate - I raise a point made by Steven in relation to your earlier post, and which you have committed to even more strongly. You advocate perpetuating and in fact increasing the stigma attached to mental illness by describing people as "sick" or "unbalanced".

This is just such a typical attitude in this horrid little community. People with mental illness are "sick and unbalanced", autistics should be locked up or forcibly removed from the island, and racism is rife.

Your "radical idea" would serve only to increase stigma and increase the work needed to do to actually help people with mental health problems (from which one in three of us will suffer at some stage).

Of course the parents should pay! It is the responsibility of parents to make sure that their children are not tearing around creating wanton destruction. It is their responisbility to make their children feel loved and secure in their homes so they do not feel the need to express their dissatisfaction with society on other people's property.

I feel sorry for the children whose lives are so unhappy that their only outlet is in vandalism. I pity them. What does the future hold for people so dissaffected? It doesn't make me less angry when my windscreen is smashed (it happened three times in a year...) and it makes me angry that some parents are so irresponsible. So, as a parent myself, I pity the children and I blame the parents.

Devils Advocate

Belinda - I think you are missing my point, I am suggesting an idea that could be adapted in some manner, I would not get too pedantic over my choice of words.

However, are people that commit vandalism not unbalanced then!! Is it not their perverse logic of respect that makes them act in such a manner. A logic that could be addressed by some psychiatric counseling.

>> Of course the parents should pay! It is the responsibility of parents to make sure that their children are not tearing around creating wanton destruction. <<

Unworkable, they very rarely get caught! Not all vandals come from families with irresponsible parents. We may as well fine all parents when children/teenagers are found smoking or speeding on motorbikes etc...

As I said, it makes a good political headline, but would do little to stop those who are smart enough not to get caught!


HHmmmmm, I agree with you on the reimbursement of costs involved in dealing with such matters. Damage to the bank account should be a leading deterrant to any would be vandal, or ther class or criminal.

I would maybe go off on a tangent and consider fining the offender through a higher rate of income tax for a period of time as a way of recouping public money used on courts, police, hospital, etc.

Devil's makes an interesting suggestion too about inventing a new type of mental health problem. My feeling is that it would just work in reverse, i.e. the person would feed off this status as being some kind of danger to society.


DA - I think you will find that Guernsey's resources in terms of psychiatric services are very over-stretched and could hardly cope with your suggestion of "psychiatric counselling for vandals". And I am sure that those with genuine problems would be most aggrieved to have waiting times extended even more because young people who just need a bit of decent parenting were sent to counselling. I find your post to be both ignorant and insulting to those with genuine mental health problems.

How can you say that "not all vandals come from homes with irresponsible parents"? Surely, if the parents have brought their children up to believe that disrespecting property is ok, then they are irresponsible. If they allow them out to commit such acts, they are irresponsible.

The idea of parents paying is unworkable only because as a community we would rather ignore what is happening outside our houses than take note and try to do something about it. And I absolutely agree that parents should be fined when children or teenagers are caught smoking, speeding, skipping school, drinking under age etc. Might make people take their parental responsibilities more seriously.

And finally, DA, if fining parents would do nothing to stop those who are smart enough not to get caught, your whole idea becomes a joke, doesn't it. If they don't get caught, that's an end of it. They wouldn't buy into the "oooh you are a vandal that makes you sick and unbalanced you have to see a psychiatrist tee hee" mentality! Silliness.

Student Bob

Flouquet missed a trick here then. He should have blamed his parents for Gollygate....


I agree with Paul. Give more responsibility to fathers! Upon separation, equal access to children should be the assumption. It is not like in the UK where separated parents usually live miles away from each other. In this small community it is 100% workable.

Also, increased support at a younger age is necessary to prevent antisocial behaviour in adolescence. Keep class sizes small in primary school 20-25 per class maximum and 15 max in reception and year 1. Give children the individual and emotional support that they need so that this type of behaviour can be avoided in the future.


I have 3 teenagers, 2 at school and 1 at University. They were advised in school about how to contact childline etc at an early age if they felt threatened or frightened. I have no problem with this but their take on it was that if their parents asked them to do something or refused them something they were somehow being treated cruelly! If i asked them to tidy their room or they would not get any pocket money they called it blackmail! Just a bit of a minor hiccup that was soon sorted out when the money stopped coming but that is perhaps where DJ is coming from.

They have friends who are not being brought up in loving homes with support - they are sofa kids who sleep wherever they can - usually a different house each day on the sofa. Most of them have no jobs and have dropped out of school. Those children who left school at 15 with no qualifications, have no work as they believe working in a shop or labouring is beneath them and yet blame guest workers for the fact that there are not any other jobs available! All these children are victims of family breakups where their parents have met different partners and they no longer appear to want them - they have no one to teach them right from wrong. The authorities are not interested as they children are over aged 16. They eventually get given benefits when their friends parents get fed up with being responsible for feeding and clothing them - and that is when their problems really start.

It is jolly hard work being a parent today where disciplining children is almost impossible if they really do not want to listen. If they walk out you cannot stop them as that is 'abuse' - parents feel inadequately supported. So far we are lucky in that ours will push us so far but in the end they do as they are asked - but we have had some very close calls. Children need goals but most of all they need love and guidance - this is increasingly missing.


I'm not a parent myself so I can't fully comment but I was a child once and I was fortunate to be given excellent moral guidance by my parents and teachers. I was also disciplined in an appropriate manner when required, this did take the form of smacking and I have not turned out socially maladjusted.

There is and always will be a blame culture, it is a collective responsibilty but in my opinion a large proportion of responsibility falls on the education system.

Children are not in their parents care for 6-7 hours a day and are intrusted to the islands education system. This is where structured learning occurs, suggesting the closure of island schools when connected to this seems illogical to me.

There are some extremely talented and passionate teachers on the island, increasing class sizes and reducing the time teachers are able to dedicate to each child will only have a detremental effect. Class sizes upward of 20-25 become unmanagable. Increasing the class size increases the probability of the inclusion of a disruptive child which will distract the attention of the teacher. Class sizes must be kept at a managable level.

Invest in education at a young age and it will pay dividends in the future. Investment does not just come in the form of new school facilities, it also comes in the form of teachers, if they can't be found locally bring them in from oversees but give them the lenght of licence that will allow them to make an impact, in my opinion a five year licence for a teacher with proven quality is not practicable.

It does go without saying though that once the children return home the baton of responsibility is passed to the parent(s).

Devils Advocate

Guernsey's police force does not have the resources to catch 'vandals' in the 'act', which is why most crimes of this nature are not solved. I cannot see how fining parents would be the solution towards stopping vandalism. They may catch a few, so politicians can claim to have done something about it.

Good try, but only 2/10, DJ needs to try harder.


It sounds initially ok but actually its not; you need better schooling and quicker social service intervention.

Neil Lee

Paul I agree with most of what you say,but to heap the blame soley on single mothers is very narrow minded ,I know its not an ideal situation to be a single Mother /Father but I know many single Parents who bring up ther children to have respect for all things in life and do a splendid job,and I know others... the ones I pressume you speak of , so lets not tar all with one brush please.

Well done to Mr Jones for having the metal to speak his mind and bring these serious issuses to the table . Well done Sir ,you would get my vote anyday.

leigh haines

let the parents and teachers and police have their powers back. what is wrong with a smack? bring back the birch and lets see the smiles wiped off some of these little b#s*a#ds faces. power to the people. dont do the crime if you cant do the time.


Neil - I agree and I say it should go further. Like you, I know plenty of single parents whose children are perfectly well brought up. Rounded young individuals, passion for life and ambitious to do something with it. Ergo it's perfectly acceptable to blame the parents for their children's behaviour.

In Fast Robert and others' utopia, I'm supposed to be feel happy about having my car vandalised "but it's OK, the vandal is a poor defenseless disaffected youth" ? That doesn't pay for the repairs to my car.

I say fine the parents and use that money to increase the availability of help /social services to families who have real problems with their children, as opposed to hand outs to those parents who are simply too lazy to do a proper job of raising their children.

Fast Robert


Since when have I said that damage should not be paid for by the perpetrator? The fact is, if a minor gets caught commiting criminal damage then some sort of redress is going to happen. Since they are minors then the parents will take the hit anyway. There is no question that that shouldn't be the case.

The rhetoric is that demonising kids will serve a public boon. Rubbish. Understanding and education will prevent the next wave from happening. The people out there now looking for anti-social kicks need an object lesson, but harsher detention and "the birch" will only harden their misguided position.

Your assertion of single parents is spot on. If it were merely a problem of non-nuclear families, the world would be in serious moral decline. It is not. A media frenzy to sideline certain aspects of society is a function of what has always happened - those in political power brush problems under the carpet to suit vested interests. We cannot seriously say that our problems compare with those of just a hundred years ago, indeed the very dirty underworld is alive and kicking. It is just that we are expected NOT to have any problems because problems become thorns in our side, an admission of societal failure.

I was walking towards an incident of a couple of 'youngsters' urinating down the stair of an office in town the other day. A lady confronted them before I arrived. She was asking if they had any respect. They said no, they didn't care, what's it got to do with you etc. Where do they get that from? That's the issue, not the punishment.

If punishment were a deterrent then there would be no crime in certain states of the US. There happens to be more prisoners, more crime and more anti social behaviour in places of harsher police powers.

It is "the birch" that has made us into whingers, the expectation that brute force can knock sense into people.

Dave Jones would rather pick on youngsters than sort out his preference for protecting private landlords that are overheating the market for those youngsters to have any hope of entering. It is this sort of political rhetoric that hardens the generational divisions.


I might have known single parents would be bought into a debate about child vandalism.....typical......scrummy mummies>>> what are u on paul?? do your research before you start pointing fingers and stereotyping for goodness sake we aint all alcoholics and drug addicts desperate to get rid of our kids and no not all dads are interested in their offspring but why should that reflect badly on the mothers that struggle to bring their children up on their own. It isnt a bed of roses and im quite frankly sick of being told or hearing its all easy and arent we bad people. children vandalising property can be from any class of life and i take it as a huge personal insult to think that everyone immediately goes to blame single parents.



I believe that too many parents have children for no reason other than an ignorance to contraception. This Island is littered with scummy mummies and not many that I have seen have much of a clue on how to parent children properly.

Values are so cheap nowadays! A child is for life. It is a shame that a high proportion of single mothers can dictate the future of the children's.

Children need mothers and fathers that wish to have a family and make it work through thick and thin. Not a bitter mother with Tom, Dick and Harry, and then all their mates, as temporary role models.


Melissa, yes you are correct - vandalism is perpetrated by children from all classes.

That's why Elizabeth College is covered in graffiti just like St Peter Port School is.

That's why Fort George is full of broken bottles and stolen shopping trollies just like the Boet is.

...Oh no...wait...that might be a bad example of your logic.

You are right about single parents though. The fathers are just as responsible as the mothers for the actions of their offspring.


Paul, not sure what you know about the 'Birds and Bees' but I believe and please correct me if I am wrong, that it takes two people to make a baby? So these Scummy Mummies, as you so eloquently put it, didnt get pregnant alone. Perhaps instead of blaming all females, which you seem to have a little issue with, have a look at the men who get these girls pregnant and then leave at the first sight of a dirty nappy. You seem to have it in for these single mothers and totally fogotten that somewhere along the line a man was involved in this prossess.

Children from very safe, secure and well to do families are often the ones to blame for vandalism thats happening in the Island its not only single mothers children who are causing problems on this Island. Do not take it out on the parents. Children should be helpd responsible for their own actions, made to clean up the mess, pay for damages and give something back to the community time wise.

And no I am not a single mother, or a mother at all for that matter. Just someone who doesnt think all single mothers have done a bad job by their kids.


paul thank you for your somewhat positive response and eric im sure in a jumbled way u see my point.

I'm a single parent with no family help or support and i would never tolerate my child doing that. I'd wholeheartedly encourage the police to punish my child as i know i would should he offend. it's not to be tolerated but paul I have one child and the circumstances werent on the basis of me being a lone parent. My morals are high and i try to pass that on to my child and while several other bouetians (paul and eric, as you mentioned) are feeding their kids chippy every nite so they can save their drinking money i do not and never would consider it. I do agree that there are people who feed their kids crap and kick em out the door rather than supervise and parent them because i know people like that. also nearly every single parent i know has parents or relatives looking after kids so they cann go out all the time, but trust me we are not all the same. I'd be as disgusted as any middle class/ upper class parent to find my son was vandalising property. I have spent all day every day with my child since he was born , not being able to afford childcare. I have high standards and hate living amongst the lower standard thinking minority.......but its a necessity at the moment but no excuse for letting standards slip.


oh and fastrobert, while were on the topic.....as has been said the current penalties are not acting as a deterrent so how on earth can u say education is better than punishment.

absolute rubbish

if your taking that view than teens convicted of murder should be educated rather than punished.!!!!!! we all grow up learning the diffrent between right and wrong and as you mentioned on a previous post with children urinating onn an office building steps, not everyone has a good attitude and is willing to stop their behaviour.

every action has a consequence, thats what we should be teaching children and as in the naughty step or "time out" at schools and pre schools the police provide that for adults.

Saying " I need help and education " is no excuse or deterrent for illegal activity and i think it appalling you think so.

I agree far more with Dave Help that the odd slap across back of legs pulls a kid into line a lot quicker. I grew up being smacked for doing wrong and it didnt do me any harm. Taught me respect for elders and ensured i turned out well.....It's not abuse and to be honest i think a lot of teenagers with attitude or even younger pre teens would laugh in your face if you think you can sit them down and talk to them and they'll change

You obviously have no kids or experience


Oh and Wil. not all fathers want to have anything to do with their children


Pah , i totally agree with you


Deputy Jones does like a good contradiction.

'Punish the parents'!

Is he serious?

How can they be punished if by law they are not allowed to exert control over their children?

It is like saying punish the passengers on a bus when it crashes - when clearly they have no control over it.

Deputy Jones - why don't you get your hand in your pocket and pay for more Police Officers to beat the streets and let them give the kids a good clip round the earhole when they get mouthy.

Indiscipline is created in the main by family cultural values, i.e. if you are brought up by a dole-dossing low life who takes drugs then there is a likely possibility that you will be disfunctional, however like anything else in life sometimes the opposite happens. I know of many people who were brought up by sound, well off parents, only to turn out into complete low-life morons who sponge off social welfare.

Ultimately when a child does a decent wrong doing (i.e. theft, assault etc) they should at the first opportunity be aggressively examined for a root cause, for example peer pressure, abuse, stupidity, and then the cause either taken away or treated. It doesn't do any harm to stick them in a cell with a drunk over night either and say 'hey mate, this is what you need to get used to as it's coming your way'.

If you don't shock kids early enough then nothing will happen.

Worst things that ever happened were a poor European social policy (i.e. welfare) and poor immigration control combined with a lack of national service - get them in the bloomin army - that will sort them out.


This is a stupid idea for so many reasons. Here's just a few:

1) Contrary to the opinions of the average politician, parents can't monitor their children 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The idea that vandalism is always the result of bad parenting is ridiculous anyway, I've known a lot of very good parents with tearaway children.

2) The blind assumption that vandalism is just something children do is also very stupid. My guess is that most vandalism is because of drunk people.

3) I don't think telling a child that they can smash up a phone box provided mummy and daddy pay for it is all that bright.

4) The punishment has to be placed on the perpetrator. Make them clean up the mess and work off the debt themselves.

5) How often do we actually catch the perpetrators anyway?

On his other point, that it's almost illegal to discipline children now, I have to say I haven't got a clue what he's on about. It might just be another rant at the Human Rights Act, which doesn't include any new laws against disciplining children, or maybe it's just a rant at society. Either way, considering you can still imprison a child in an adult prison on the island, I think that's a particularly stupid and unrealistic thing for him to say.

Devils Advocate

Andrew, some good points there.

1) Agree totally.

2) I have come across a group of youths (14/15) female and male, drinking alcohol and drunk? One of the males, rearranging road work bollards and signs, having just pulled out various stones from a hedge and leaving them as obstacles in the road, whilst the others laughing at his antics.

3) Some kids, may do it in spite of their parents!

4/5) Agree, but they are rarely caught.

Peer pressure, or trying to 'act big' in front of their peers (gain 'respect' they may claim), plays a big part of the problems behind vandalism, (alongside lack of self esteem). This is why, vandalism is not only the domain of the disadvantaged souls in our society.


Populist Jones, as ever playing to the lowest common denominator. He really needs to look in his own back yard.

As head of Housing he has 'some' problems on his estates. Many of the children causing havoc for residents are of children of his tenants; even at the most basic level he could use the tenancy agreements against the children and parents. Does he? No he doesn't.

So here's an idea Housing Minister Jones. Tearaway child on an estate. March him up to the parents' house; inform them that their child is out of control, one of three strikes goes against their tenancy, two more and they are out.

So as ever, inconsistent Jones is spouting his usual media tosh.


Hi Melissa, I by no means agree with Pauls rant about single mothers! The vast majority are doing an excellent job. The only part which i referred to is that it should be assumed that post-separation, fathers should legally have equal responsibly and equal involvement with their children. Equal access should be assumed unless there are prevailing circumstances whereby one of the parents should be granted full access -like you say if one parent doesnt want to have anything to do with the child or are abusive in some way etc. I think that the law is like this because the majority of politicians are of my fathers generation who had little involvement with their children and preferred to spend their spare time at the pub rather than with family. Times have changed.

Paul, the responsibility for contraception and raising children falls equally on both men and women -so your rant about women being ignorant, having babies and becoming scrummy mummies etc is just ridiculous and demonstrates that you have some severe issues with females.

I stand by my earlier comment in that the answer to juvenile crime lays in early intervention. By which i means greater investment in primary schools, individual attention and early identification of problems by keeping class numbers low and resources to enable greator learning so that all children can grow into well rounded responsible adults capable of making good decisions in life.


thanks will, sounds like us single parents need all the help we can get


I remember reading once that children ( that is persons under the age of 17 !! )very rarely get taken to Court for the first few 'offences'

(unless traffic orientated it seems)

They get several Police warnings / cautions and are taken to Court only as a last resort to receive their first official slap on the wrist.

These cautions take place in the presence of a parent or guardian so surely from that moment on any responsible parent would be extra vigilant over their offspring's behaviour