Violence breeds more violence...

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WITH reference to Annemarie Field’s Out in the Field writing about the causes of the recent riots, focuses on one possible cause - the fact nowadays parents cannot hit their children, nor can teachers or police. But I would comment that violence breeds more violence.

A small child, who has never been smacked cries if spoken to sharply - if there was smacking it was necessary to smack harder and harder as the child became immune.

In schools in the past where records were kept of children who were caned, the same names appeared over and over again showing this was no deterrent.

In a society which already has enough violence, do we really want to add more of something which has been shown not to work?

Another cause of the riots, often mentioned, is the absence of fathers.

In the First World War many families were without fathers because they had been killed or were fighting in the army. In the Second World War many were absent for the same reason. But we did not have this problem.

We did not have gangs with knives and guns and drugs. We did not have mobile phones with instant communication to organise unruly youths. We did not need clubs for teenagers to stop them from being bored.

Our society has completely changed. Women go to work and are not at home with their children in the early years when the basis of some control and discipline should be made. Also, one would hope some love would be there.

Another cause is probably the number of single young mothers, who may not have become pregnant if they had known more about contraception, and if clinics had not been cut. We have the highest teenage pregnancies in Europe.

These are a few of my thoughts on the present problems. What do other readers think?

Dorothy Forsyth

Meads Road