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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Parents 'key to tackling yobs'
Tony McNulty
Mr McNulty says parents have a "significant" role to play
"More needs to be done" to work with parents on anti-social behaviour, Home Office Minister Tony McNulty has said.

His comments follow Conservative leader David Cameron speaking of "anarchy in the UK" and saying that supporting families was key to tackling violence.

Mr McNulty said that there is "a perception that things in some areas are getting out of hand".

Half of British people feel more frightened on the streets than they did a decade ago, a YouGov poll has shown.

The poll was carried out for The Mirror newspaper and GMTV.

'Discipline and respect'

Mr McNulty said parents have a "significant" role to play in tackling anti-social behaviour.

David Cameron
Mr Cameron has called for strengthened families in the UK

"People have rightly asked 'where are the parents?'" he told the BBC.

"Some of this is about behaviour, discipline and respect for other people," he said.

Mr Cameron told the Today programme: "We are not going to deal with anarchy in the UK unless you actually strengthen families and communities in the UK."

Licensing laws

Mr McNulty backed away from making a direct link anti-social behaviour problems to recent changes in licensing laws.

"The notion this is all to do with a liberalisation of licensing laws simply isn't the case," he said.

A record number of police are on patrol, Mr McNulty added.

"Police certainly have the powers they need," he said.

"All research shows there is more crime later on in the evening but more is being done earlier in the evening to prevent crime," Mr McNulty said.

Anti-social behaviour has been back on the political agenda following a series of stabbings and attacks in recent weeks.

The latest teenage knife victim was named at the weekend as 16-year-old Andrew Holland from Greater Manchester.

'Gang culture'

Mr McNaulty's comments came in the same week in which one of Britain's top police officers criticised parents for not taking enough responsibility for their children's behaviour.

The chief constable of Cheshire Police, Peter Fahy, said parents who refuse to take responsibility for their children's under-age drinking should face "sanctions" from the care system.

Meanwhile, the innovation, universities and skills secretary, John Denham, said at the weekend that there were deeper problems underlying the rise in street violence, and perseverance was essential.

He said: "Where there are underlying problems, like the acceptance of gang culture among young people, knife carrying or too-readily-available alcohol to young people, we have got to carry on until we have beaten the problem."

Mr Denham added that he was very concerned "about the heavy, heavy promotion of discounted alcohol and the culture that goes around that".

"I personally - not as a minister I've got to say, but personally, as somebody who looked at these issues in the past - hope that that's something we're going to look at in the future," he said.

Debate over how to combat alcohol-fuelled crime

Cameron launches Tory fightback
20 Aug 07 |  UK Politics
Drink laws 'prompt lower crime'
20 Aug 07 |  London
'Urgency needed' on knife crime
19 Aug 07 |  UK Politics
Boy, 16, killed in stabbing named
19 Aug 07 |  Manchester
Anti-social drinking is tackled
12 Aug 07 |  Leicestershire

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