15 Aug 2011

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive from The Children's Society, said:

'In the wake of the worst rioting across England for decades, as shattered communities begin to rebuild, it is vital that we look closely at the underlying issues that need to be addressed. Whilst we do not condone any of the criminal and violent activity, we are clear that only by seeking to understand such behaviour can we begin to tackle its root causes.

'More children and young people than ever before are not in education, employment or training. Many live in deprived areas and fragmented communities. We know from our work with disadvantaged teenagers that many feel cut off from mainstream society. This alienation often turns into frustration, which can spill over into criminal activity.

'We must continue to invest in youth projects, family support work and other cross-generational work. The aim must be to repair the heart of the communities affected. Solutions lie in providing crucial services, rather than resorting to an endless blame game.

'We must make sure that any reviews that take place are not counterproductive. Kneejerk measures such as issuing eviction notices and removing benefits will only serve to punish whole families, placing even more pressures on parents who are already struggling to cope, and drive deeper divisions within communities.'

Ends

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Lorna Harris in The Children’s Society media team. Email: lorna.harris@childrenssociety.org.uk. Telephone: 020 7841 4424 or 078 1079 6508.