Focus on delinquents’ parents say MPs

MPs from all parties are calling on the government to focus on the parents of juvenile deliquents in an effort to stop street corner crime.

The government is making tackling teenage crime a priority and is setting up a nationwide network of youth and family centres to spearhead efforts to reduce the number of so-called problem families. One of the centres’ main tasks will be to compile a register of children at risk.
MPs are due to debate the teenage gang problem later on Tuesday. Labour MP Staf Depla has already suggested that children who cause trouble should be given a 9pm curfew. Parents who do not keep their children indoors should then be fined, Depla says.
Christian Democrat MP Mirjam Sterk wants the courts to impose supervision orders on the parents of deliquent teenagers. This would give the authorities more pressure to force parents to accept extra help with raising their children.
The CDA also wants to make it easier to make anonymous police reports about youth gangs because their victims are often too frightened of reprisals to make complaints. At the same time, the party says urban planners should take the needs of teenagers more into account when designing and rennovating neighbourhoods.
And Rita Verdonk, the opposition VVD spokeswoman on family and youth affairs, says in today’s Telegraaf that child benefit allowances should be stopped for eight to 12 year old children who become involved in petty crime or who terrorise neighbourhoods.
Meanwhile, the CDA’s plan to allow the police to breathlyse suspected under-age drinkers has been backed by Labour and the VVD. All three parties also want the age limit for soft drugs to be raised from 16 to 18.

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