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More than 40% of adults questioned thought that youngsters were increasingly dangerous and beginning to behave like animals. A similar percentage thought children were increasingly dangerous both to each other and to adults.
This is very different from the reality that less than 1.5% of young people actually commit crime. The Scottish Crime and Victimisation Survey also shows that young people were more likely to be victims of personal crime compared to older people.
Martin Crewe from Barnardos Scotland said: "We're not naive, we know that a small minority of young people do cause problems for their communities and what we are saying is lets address that. We're not saying go easy on them. It's only something like 1.5% of young people, lets get it in perspective, there's a reality gap here. The vast majority of young people are positive contributors to society and that's the debate we want to have."
A survey taken by 393 youngsters, aged between 10 and 23 shows:
- 44% said bad behaviour is encouraged when the media portrays their peers as misbehaving
- 84% said young people get into trouble because of boredom
- 88% said having more things to do and places to go might stop young people getting into trouble
- 32% would go to friends for help if they were in trouble.