Long-term separation from a parent, conflict between parents and harsh or erratic discipline all increased the chances of a child offending, the survey by the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (Nacro) found. Alternatively, the provision of stability, supervision, love and care in the family home meant that youngsters were less likely to become caught up in delinquent behaviour.
Situations of chronic stress, frequent or prolonged spells of unemployment, physical or mental disabilities within a family, and poverty were all linked to inadequate parenting.
Nacro said the reportunderlined the urgent need for the Government to provide measures to bolster family life. It marked the start of a year- long campaign by Nacro to highlight measures it believes are needed to create a safer society.
Families and Crime, pounds 2.50, from Nacro, 169 Clapham Road, London SW9 OPU.