Don't forget the young generation, says Archbishop
The Archbishop of Canterbury
has called on the public in his New Year message not to give up on the
younger generation despite the "horrific" scenes during the summer
Dr Rowan Williams described the violence as "angry" and "lawless" but said that, when shown the right support and love, young people can "flourish".
Describing the disturbances which swept the country, he said: "Quite a lot of the images we're likely to remember from the footage of the riots in the summer will be of young people out of control in the streets, walking off with looted property from shops, noisily confronting police and so on.
"It all feeds into the national habit of being suspicious and hostile when we see groups of youngsters on street corners or outside shops and bus shelters.
"We walk a bit more quickly and hope we can pass without some sort of confrontation.
"The events of the summer were certainly horrific. They showed us a face of our society we don't like to think about - angry, destructive, lawless."
He said those involved were a minority and most young people shared the "general feeling of dismay at this behaviour".
He praised charities such as Kids' Company in south London for providing support and role models to enable youngsters to develop.
"When you see the gifts they can offer, the energy that can be released when they feel safe and loved, you see what a tragedy we so often allow to happen," he said.
"Look at the work done by groups like the Children's Society or by the astonishing network of Kids' Company here in London, and you see what can be done to wake up that energy and let it flourish for everyone's good."
The Archbishop called on people to recognise how their actions can help improve society as a whole.
He said: "Being grown up doesn't mean forgetting about the young.
"And a good New Year's Resolution might be to think what you can do locally to support facilities for young people, to support opportunities for counselling and learning and enjoyment in a safe environment.
"And above all, perhaps we should just be asking how we make friends with our younger fellow citizens - for the sake of our happiness as well as theirs."
The Archbishop's New Year message will be broadcast today at 12.45pm on BBC One and 4.15pm on BBC Two.
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Hopes raised for treatment of severe amnesia after scientists retrieve lost memory – using light
Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of revenge porn
Poorest part of London is wealthier than the richest parts of Northern Ireland and Wales
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
How to live to be really old
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a white-ha...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Solar P...
£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is changing the way at...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...