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HOUR OF RECKONING.

Byline: By LUCY BALLINGER Wales on Sunday

A welsh council votes this week on a proposed children's curfew to curb unruly behaviour, vandalism and noise. LUCY BALLINGER went to Presteigne in Mid Wales to see what it is really like...'Crude sledgehammer':CHILDREN CZAR'S VERDICT WELSH Children's Commissioner Peter Clarke says a curfew on kids is 'a very crude sledgehammer'.

'In general I am not in favour of curfews for young people,' he said.

'There are so many ways problems like this can be tackled. I think a curfew should be at the end of a long line of things that have already been tried.

'You have to look at why young people are around. Sometimes children are on the street because there is a problem of domestic violence at home or child abuse.

'Another problem is if the police are going to have to enforce a curfew it will put a strain on the relationship between them and young people.

'They are there to protect the young as well as other members of the community, and a curfew enforced by police will make it difficult for the young people to work that out.

'A curfew is a very crude sledge- hammer, they need to find out why the children are on the streets, so there can be a targeted response which is more likely to work.

'We are raising an obese generation of children so we should encourage them to be on the streets skateboarding as it is activity. 'They deserve better treatment than curfews,' the commissioner said.
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 18, 2004
Words:259
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