London: UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said
that those involved in the recent riots here and other English
cities need "tough love" as he vowed to deal with the
country`s 120,000 problem families.
The UK must "do better at bringing up our children" and
insisted that "much more systematic" intervention in the
120,000 most troubled families was key, Cameron said.
"There`s lots of contact with these families, but no-
one`s actually working on the family, to get into that family
and work out what`s actually wrong and put it right," he told
Cameron said he would turn around the lives of 120,000
problem families by 2015.
He reiterated his belief that the riots that erupted in
several English cities last month were criminality rather than
any form of protest.
"Tragically, we also saw people who were just drawn into
it, who passed the broken shop window and popped in and nicked
a telly," he said.
During the August 6-9 riots, shops were looted, buildings
burned and five people died.
"That is a sign of moral collapse, of failing to recognise
the difference between right and wrong."
Cameron said "tough love" - and indeed "both elements of
it" - were crucial to dealing with rioters.
"For some of the children who`ve ended up in this
terrible situation there was probably a failure in their
background, in their families," he said.
"There probably was a shortage of not just respect and
boundaries but also love. But you do need, when they cross the
line and break the law, to be very tough.
"So to me tough love sums it up, that`s what we need,"
The Prime Minister said the money to do that would be
found, despite spending cuts, and that it would "save the
country a fortune" in the long term.
"I think it`s an opportunity, we have to use try and use
this an opportunity, to do things to strengthen our society,
which along with rebuilding a strong economy is going to be
this government`s priority."
"I think we all need to have a wake-up moment in terms
of exercising our responsibilities," he said.
According to the official figures, 1,566 people have now
appeared before courts and charged with involvement in the
disturbances. About a fifth were youths, aged 10 to 17, and 91
per cent were male, the Ministry of Justice said.