Originally published March 26 2015
British police are increasingly used to discipline children during family disputes
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The one democratic European country where society seems to be collapsing into a morass of government surveillance and authoritarianism is Great Britain, where police are now called to take care of unruly children and lock up those merely needing family assistance.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the increase in police calls by parents, especially, comes amid a destruction of traditional family structure. Cops are being called to settle disputes between kids as trivial as basic unruliness over who gets to hold the TV remote, according to a recently released study by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
And while some sociologists and other experts are blaming societal decay, others believe that an environment now exists where police officers are prone to use more authority than is often necessary.
Some examples from the study reported by the Daily Mail:
In one case a 13-year-old boy was arrested for common assault for attacking his sister, 11, while another boy, 17, was arrested for pushing his stepfather and damaging the garden fence.
A girl was arrested after rowing with her sister over the remote control for the TV, and a 15-year-old girl was taken into custody when she attacked her mother during a meeting at school.
Lack of traditional family support systemThe study found that single mothers, in particular, increasingly felt threatened and intimidated by their own teenage children. Also, it found that a breakdown in extended families, where grandparents were often around to help guide and discipline their grandkids.
"Others blamed the police's target-driven culture which leads officers to take a 'blanket' approach to any incidents classed as domestic violence - meaning they are keen to arrest someone even if the only 'suspect' is a child," said the paper.
In an interview with The Times of London, David Green, director of the think tank which produced the study said, "One of the things people do not want to talk about is that family breakdown leads to a lot of parents being unable to cope."
He added: "When kids get to 12, 13, and 14 and they mix with the wrong crowd they can become quite aggressive and mothers on their own can be scared of that."
Green went onto say that the breakdown of "family support networks" has left a great many parents unable to tap relatives to help with their difficult kids.
The overseer of the report/study, Dru Sharpling, told the Mail that it has become clear, too, that many kids have been arrested "when they should not have been."
"It is a straightforward issue of a policy being applied in a blanket way when children could be dealt with separately," she said. "In some cases the target has become arrest everybody. Some officers do not have any flexibility when called to domestic incidents because the guidance says arrests should be made."
'The public would be surprised to know'Some officers told researchers they felt compelled oftentimes to make arrests, in order to satisfy their superiors.
The study found that violence among UK youth is steadily on the rise. It said that 118 boys and girls under the age of 14 were prosecuted for domestic abuse in 2012-2013.
Researchers also discovered that a large number of vulnerable or mentally ill Britons are being locked up in jail cells after officers have been called to their care homes. Many of them were detailed while cops waited on the right support to arrive to pick them up, but the Mail said many "had to be held in cells for lack of another option."
"There can be no argument that the needs of a child, left abandoned by his or her parents, or a person in the midst of a mental health crisis, are often very different to those of a serial offender," said Sharpling. "Yet the bricks and mortar of the police cells do not and cannot make that distinction.
"I think the public would be surprised to learn that police cells are very often full of vulnerable adults and children, rather than suspects accused of serious crimes," she added.
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