This week I have met with upset and angry parents, who are finding out that their teenage children are causing problems within the village. As you know, over the last few months I have been observing and dealing with the issue of anti-social behaviour in public spaces in the village by groups of youths/young adults. Some of those issues have been littering, criminal damage, drugs taking, and the bullying of younger children.
I have been engaging with them and made it clear that their behaviour is not acceptable, however my words of advice have not been listened to and the peer pressure associated among these young people seems greater than ever.
With the school summer holidays comes the issue of child care and dealing with the boredom that often sets in at this time of year.
Unfortunately things have changed considerably since we were that age and youngsters are exposed to quite a few things that we probably weren’t and sadly that includes drugs.
So I ask the parents reading this – “Do you know where your kids are?” Do you know where they go, with whom and what they get up to once they leave the house? “When I was a kid my parents didn’t know where I was, but there was a respect for the law and other people.” I hear this day in and day out when talking to people/parents but those days are behind us and we have to remember that we live in a different society today. Our kids are exposed to more hazards than we wish to think about – from gangs, to cyber bullying, to drugs etc.
During my work, it has become apparent that not everybody knows what their children are up to and who they are hanging around with and the potential harm their children are exposed to.
We are all responsible for our children until they are 18 years old, and while there are plenty of support organisations available, if you can see your child is heading in the wrong direction, what should you do? Seek advice. Contact the School. Talk to other parents/family. Talk to the family Doctor. There is also advice and Counselling available at the Annabelle Davis Centre on Broadway. For the young person who is suffering peer pressure from the older youths who may lead them into trouble, or just want someone to talk to about what is going on in their lives, please see their website for more information https://ypcs.uk/
If they are bored, why not check out the Gazette website for activities during the summer holidays, or visit their Facebook page.
Please help us to tackle this issue and begin by asking the question, ‘Do you know where your kids are?’
Be safe out there,
PCSO Dawn Hodgson