Britain targets young troublemakers

Dec. 11, 2005 at 8:46 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair is launching a war on young troublemakers.

Parents of children under the age of 10 -- or older children deemed at risk of becoming troublemakers -- will face orders requiring them to attend behavioral classes or comply with standards, in a dramatic widening of the concept of anti-social behavior, the Observer reported Sunday.

The government's "respect" plan, due in January, is expected to stress the need to tackle the root causes of problem behavior even before laws get broken.

It will also reflect warnings from senior police officers about primary school-age troublemakers who are already involved in petty criminal behavior but cannot be punished because of their age. Children cannot be prosecuted until they are 10.

The newspaper said ministers will argue that the risk signs of future trouble are evident in much younger children, so their parents should be involved early.

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