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The cruelty of youth

The British fear their own offspring.


What would you do if you came across a small group of 14-year-old boys ramping up a bus shed? The British Institute for Public Policy (IPPR) asked the question to a selection of people in several European countries, and the results of the research were recently published. Either the British testify to general disdain for public property, or IPPR suggests in its report: The Englishmen fear their youngest countrymen.

For 30 per cent of the British state that they would never have dared to intervene. 32 percent would probably have looked the other way, 23 percent would probably have resigned, and only 11 percent would have certainly confronted the youth. No other European country group is as scared of its young as the British. Only seven percent of Germans say they would never dare to go in between.

Over the past year, 1,5 million Britons have considered moving for fear of young people hanging around the neighborhood. For the same reason, 1,7 million avoid going out in the dark.

This type of avoidance can create an even more secure everyday life, says researcher Sturla Falck at the Norwegian Institute for Research on Growth, Welfare and Aging (Nova).

- The fear of being attacked. . .

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