Millions of teens live in fear of crime

Teens crime fear web

The Children's Society has said that 2.2 million youngsters worry about falling victim to criminals 

30th August 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Millions of teens are living in fear of crime, a study by a children’s charity has claimed.

Fear of being a victim of crime is damaging the wellbeing of 2.2 million teenagers in the UK, with one in three teenage girls scared of being followed by a stranger and one in four boys worried they’ll be assaulted, new research from The Children’s Society has revealed.

The charity’s 2017 Good Childhood Report has found that more than one million older children are contending with at least seven serious problems in their lives, significantly harming their happiness. 

Fear of crime has emerged as the most widespread of the issues for children aged 10 to 17, with almost two in five worried about falling victim to two or more crimes.

An estimated 2.1 million British teenagers are also worrying about their parents struggling to pay the bills.

The survey of 3,000 10 to 17-year-olds revealed that more than half (53%) have experienced at least three hardships in the last five years, making them markedly unhappier. Teenagers who have experienced seven or more serious issues in their lives are ten times more likely to be unhappy than those who have experienced none.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society said: “It is alarming to see that millions of teenagers are contending with a multitude of problems in their lives and suffering as a result.

“Teenagers are coming under pressure in all areas of their lives, whether it’s being afraid to walk down their street, worrying about money, or having a parent who’s seriously unwell and this is damaging their wellbeing. Sadly we know many of these teenagers will only get help if they reach crisis point – such as running away from home, or abusing alcohol or drugs. With a £2 billion funding gap for children’s services looming, children are increasingly finding themselves with nowhere to turn, putting them at greater risk.”

The charity is calling for the government to urgently address the funding shortfall in children’s services – predicted to reach £2bn by 2020 – and for local government, police forces, schools and other local agencies to work together to improve the wellbeing of children in their area.