The BBC reports that among 10 to 17-year-olds, almost 40% worry about crime and are particularly fearful of theft, being followed by a stranger or being assaulted.
The Children’s Society’s annual report, which surveyed 3,000 children and their parents, found that overall, levels of happiness continue to fall each year. After their safety, parental debt and money struggles damage children’s happiness the most, the charity’s annual Good Childhood Report found.
Though the fear of crime is widespread, the fear is greater than the reality – with 17% of children reporting that they had been a victim of crime in the last 12 months.
One in three teenage girls are fearful of being followed by a stranger and one in four boys are worried they will be assaulted, the charity reported.
Some 24% of children fear become a victim of theft, 20% fear being threatened with violence and 17% are scared of being shouted at on the street.
One teenage girl told the charity: “[They’re] blowing kisses, men beeping, standing asking [your] age, whistling, shouting, stopping vans next to you, asking for [your] number.”
Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said “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,” he said.
“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.”
What do you think? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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