Inevitably, social analysts trawling for an explanation as to how children as young as 11 came to be involved in the recent riots raised the question of absentee parents. Where were they?
The answer came swiftly enough: one such miscreant appeared in court unaccompanied by either parent, because both were out at work.
For the past 30 years, successive governments have encouraged parents to place financial gain before their moral duty to be available when their children need them. The error is deeply ingrained in our social consciousness.
The disconnection of working parents from their children is not the sole cause of anti-social behaviour - but be assured, it is very significant.