The case of a mother who gave her daughter three ecstasy tablets for her 13th birthday present has been cited by the “Robocop” Mayor of Middlesbrough as an example of problem families.
Former police officer Ray Mallon, who gained his nickname for his zero-tolerance approach to policing while serving as a detective superintendent with Cleveland Police, said that there were 360 children in care in the town.
“Many of these children are in care due to neglect because of poor parenting,” he said. “There was one where a mother gave a 13-year-old child ecstasy tablets – hard drugs – for her birthday. I just despair.”
He added: “One family costs £600,000 a year due to numerous interventions by the council and our partner agencies.”
Mr Mallon has been elected Middlesbrough’s Mayor as an independent candidate three times since 2002, but announced that he is to stand down in 2015. He said he believed there should be a referendum on whether the position should remain.