10/03/2015 11:24 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Call Police To Discipline Their Disruptive Children

Caucasian brother and sister fighting

Parents are so afraid of their children that they call police to discipline them, according to new stats.

A study by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said parents are demanding that officers come to their houses to deal with disruptive behaviour rather than chastise their kids themselves.

In many cases parents have been unable to cope with bad behaviour, including incidents as minor as a fight over a TV remote control.

In one case, a girl was arrested after rowing with her sister over the remote control for the TV, and a 15-year-old girl was taken into custody when she attacked her mother during a meeting at school.

In other cases, a 13-year-old boy was arrested for common assault for attacking his sister, 11, while another boy, 17, was arrested for pushing his stepfather and damaging the garden fence.

David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, told The Times: "One of the things people do not want to talk about is that family breakdown leads to a lot of parents being unable to cope.

"When kids get to 12, 13, and 14 and they mix with the wrong crowd they can become quite aggressive and mothers on their own can be scared of that."

He added that the breakdown of 'family support and networks' left many parents unable to turn to relatives who might previously have been able to help look after difficult children.

Dru Sharpling, who is responsible for the HMIC report, said it is clear children have been arrested 'when they should not have been'.

She said: "It is a straightforward issue of a policy being applied in a blanket way when children could be dealt with separately.

"In some cases the target has become arrest everybody. Some officers do not have any flexibility when called to domestic incidents because the guidance says arrests should be made."

The report said that some police officers felt their superiors were putting pressure on them to make arrests in domestic violence cases regardless of how young or vulnerable the children were.

One child described the terror of being arrested by plain-clothes policemen who did not identify themselves, saying: "We were thinking we were getting kidnapped or something terrible."

Statistics show the number of violent young children in the UK is rising steadily, with 118 boys and girls under the age of 14 prosecuted for domestic abuse in 2012/13.

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