Something's rotten in the town of Middlesbrough, England. The mayor, Ray Mallon, finds the situation very vexing, and hopes to target specific families. For instance, he tells the BBC:
"There was one where a mother gave a 13-year-old child some ecstasy tablets, hard drugs, for her birthday," the mayor said. "I just despair."
Apparently, one family is costing the town almost a million dollars:
The BBC was told that a troubled family with six children under the age of 13 was costing Middlesbrough Council more than £600,000 per year.
Three of the children were in foster care at a cost of £135,000, while the remainder were in residential care at a cost of £468,000.
Mallon is going to attempt some kind of family intervention:
Mr Mallon said that as an ex-police officer, he recognised the same family names getting involved in crime year after year.
"We should target children whilst they're in the womb," he said, "because it's clear that you can work out by the parents which kids are likely to have problems."
Which is worrisome, because, not all kids follow in their parents' footsteps, and expecting children to be criminals is a horrible attitude that could result self-fulfilling prophecies.
Then again: Ecstasy for your 13th birthday. Yikes.
Child 'given ecstasy for birthday' [BBC News]
Image via Andrew Burns/Shutterstock.