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Last Updated: Friday, 16 May 2008, 03:09 GMT 04:09 UK
Young people 'seen in bad light'
Young people say the minority ruin it for the majority
Respondents said behaviour like this gave young people a bad name

Nearly three-quarters of young people believe the public sees them in a negative light, a survey suggests.

And 82% of those questioned said the behaviour of celebrities such as Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty gave young people a bad name.

More than 3,000 people aged 16 to 25 in the UK were surveyed by OnePoll for youth volunteering organisation v.

The survey findings were backed up by BBC Two's Revealed programme which has spoken to young people across the UK.

'Positive contribution'

Almost half of those questioned by OnePoll said the behaviour of young people justified the negative opinion.

But 39% felt the public was unaware of the positive things young people did. Some 57% said they gave to or raised money for charities.

Surely we have reached a point where we should call a truce and start building the bridges between the generations
Terry Ryall

And 41% of those questioned said the generation gap could be bridged by allowing young people to be involved in making decisions in their communities.

Terry Ryall, chief executive of v, said the survey results "belied the positive contributions" made by young people to society through things like volunteering, fundraising and helping out neighbours.

"While young people recognise that some of their peers' behaviour justifiably influences this negative perception, surely we have reached a point where we should call a truce and start building the bridges between the generations," he added.

The v organisation is using the survey to launch a national youth volunteering scheme "offering half a million opportunities for 16 to 25-year-olds to take part in community projects that meet local people's needs".

Troublesome minority

BBC Two's new Revealed programme, which begins on Saturday, has spoken to young people across the UK as well as police officers on the beat.

POSITIVE ACTION
74% recycled
58% raised money for charity
44% volunteered
26% had mentored someone
8% had volunteered abroad

Northern Ireland is the place where teenagers feel the most unpopular - almost 90% say they feel disliked.

For its Why Do They Hate You? programme, Revealed spoke to Clare, 17, from Belfast, about the way young people are perceived.

"A few of my friends have been turned out of shops because they're probably intimidated by us and they have a stereotype that teenagers are going to act badly," she said.

"There might be a few that do but the vast majority of them will not have bad intentions."

You're being fought against all the time by people that just don't want to take no for an answer
Pc Nikki Evans

The programme also spent a night on the beat in Torquay with Pc Nikki Evans, who said a minority of teenagers made life difficult for officers.

"The few that we deal with, it's tiring," she said.

"It wears us down - it's quite hard work when you're being fought against all the time by people that just don't want to take no for an answer.

"They don't like authority - they don't like being told to go home and that's the issue.

"They don't have that at home. They don't get told what they can and can't do."



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