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Parents' role in preventing riots

Four out of five people think better supervision of young people by parents would be an effective way of preventing future crime and disorder in the wake of this summer's riots, a poll has shown.

Nine out of 10 people thought victims of theft and vandalism should be given the chance to let offenders know of the harm and distress they have caused, the survey of 1,000 members of the public showed.

And nine out of 10 also backed the idea of restorative justice, where offenders are encouraged to repair the harm they have done - a key part of Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke's rehabilitation revolution.

The poll, commissioned by the Prison Reform Trust, showed that when offered a range of measures to prevent crime and disorder, most people (84%) thought better supervision of young people by parents would be effective.

Only two in three (65%) thought a prison sentence would help prevent further crime and disorder.

Three in four of those polled also thought victims should have a say in how the offender can best make amends for the harm they have caused.

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust campaign group which commissioned the poll, said: "When it comes to offenders making amends to victims, this poll indicates that there is more for politicians to agree on than to argue about.

"With a justice bill before parliament, there is scope for a profound change in the way we respond to crime and disorder that would both improve victim satisfaction and reduce reoffending."

ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 or over on its telephone omnibus between September 2 and 4.


From Belfast Telegraph