London, Nov 17 : A new study has revealed that more and more adult population is beginning to think of Brit children as a threat to the society.
According to the survey, conducted by the children's charity Barnardo, 49 per cent of adults regard children as increasingly dangerous both to each other and to their elders, while 43 per cent feel that "something has to be done" to protect society from children and young people.
More than a third of people agree that "it feels like the streets are infested with children".
The YouGov poll of 2,000 adults suggests that though many advancements have been made in children's rights and child welfare through the Government's Every Child Matters agenda, in which the interests of the child are supposedly put at the heart of all policy, the effort has failed to have any impact on public consciousness.
The poll revealed that the elderly population is so exasperated with the younger generation that they make them feel unwelcome at public places and associate words like animal, feral and vermin with the kids.
Martin Narey, chief executive of Barnardo's and former director-general of the Prison Service, said the study's result is similar to the outcome of the British Crime survey, which revealed that people blame children for "up to half of all crime" although in reality the children are responsible only for 12 per cent of criminal activity.
More than half of the survey respondents (53 per cent) said that children were beginning to behave like animals and 45 per cent agreed that people refer to children as feral "because they behave this way".
Narey stated that it was appalling that words like "animal", "feral" and "vermin" were now used daily in reference to children.
"Despite the fact that most children are not troublesome, there is still a perception that today's young people are a more unruly, criminal lot than ever before. The British public overestimates, by a factor of four, the amount of crime committed by young people," TimesOnline quoted Narey, as saying.