Parents must be accountable, says Cansdell

CLARENCE MP Steve Cansdell said the spate of youth vandalism across Grafton at the weekend proved his point that parents needed to take more responsibility for their children.

"If my past experience on street patrols is anything to go by, many of the children who ran amok in Grafton in the past few days are more than likely from good families," Mr Cansdell said.

"Too often parents assume their kids are staying at a friend's house. Well I'm saying, 'don't assume, check up on them and make sure you know what they are doing'.

"It is incredibly frustrating for local business people who are the backbone of our economy and the very people giving kids job opportunities, to see their premises and stock wantonly destroyed.

"Vandalising children's equipment at a preschool centre and smashing shop and car windows is not harmless fun.

"Real action needs to take place, and it starts at home."

Mr Cansdell, who is the Nationals' spokesman on regional and rural crime, said the weekend's crime spree underscored the need for a new approach on youth crime and urged the Iemma Labor Government to implement the initiatives in the Opposition's Youth Crime policy.

"Our policy shifts the onus of responsibility away from an undefined society and back on the offenders and their parents," Mr Cansdell said.

"For example, we believe police should have to notify parents when they issue a warning to a minor, because if parents don't know their kids are playing up, they are unlikely to discipline them."

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