Children as young as six have been treated for cannabis addiction in Manchester, a drugs expert has said.
Drug specialists also reported regularly seeing addicts aged eight and nine referred to them.
They said the children suffered from paranoia, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
One drugs worker said the youngest child he had dealt with was six – and that addiction was usually just one of a series of problems youngsters face.
Drunken yobs behaving “like occupying armies” are turning town centres into no-go areas after dark, the chairman of an influential committee of MPs says.
Conservative MP Edward Leigh said anti-social behaviour in England and Wales was costing £3.4bn a year.
The public accounts committee said the Home Office had not researched which anti-social behaviour measures brought in since 1997 were most effective.
But the government said tackling the problem remained “a top priority”.
ALMOST one in three people hold a “weapon” in their home to use against intruders, according to a survey published yesterday.
Cornhill Direct found that householders stored golf clubs, cricket bats and heavy torches close to their beds to use in self-defence.
The gap between rich and poor in the UK is as wide as it has been for forty years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has said in a report.
The JRF found that households in already wealthy areas had become “disproportionately” richer compared to society as a whole.
But the number of “poor” households has risen over the past 15 years.
Since the 1980s, wealthier people have moved to the suburbs while the poor remain in inner cities, the JRF added.
Looking at wealth patterns over the past four decades, the JRF found that the gap between rich and poor actually narrowed in the 1970s.
But during the 1980s and 1990s inequality had increased as a “polarisation” in British society had occurred.
A report from the Optimum Population Trust – a thinktank dedicated to reducing population growth and its effects on the world – has called on families to consider the environmental effects of having multiple babies.
It argues that the majority of families should restrict their babies to no more than two since it is “no longer responsible, or environmentally friendly, to bring three, four or more into the world”.
John Guillebaud, co-chairman of the Manchester-based thinktank and an international family planning expert, said that by choosing to stop having children after the first two, couples could become more eco-friendly and help send a message to the world that Britain wants to consume fewer of the earth’s resources.
This highly controversial report has been met with mixed responses, with Rosamund McDougall, a member of the trust’s advisory council, supporting the report’s declarations and urging parents not to get carried away with the idea that Britain is adopting a similar stance to China’s ‘one child per family’ policy.
Two-thirds of teachers in the UK have been physically or verbally assaulted in the past year, with 17% threatened in incidents involving weapons, according to new research.
Almost all teachers (99%) said they had been verbally abused by their pupils in the past year, with 74% claiming it happened at least once every two or three weeks.
Researchers from University of Leicester spin-out company, Perpetuity, undertook a survey of over 300 teachers, supplemented with interviews with other educational experts.
The study showed that pupils verbally or physically assaulted more men (73%) than women (62%) in the last year. In the more extreme cases this took the form of being punched, tripped or kicked.
Of the teachers who had been victimised, 17% had been threatened with a weapon by a pupil on at least one occasion and 3% of them claimed the threat had been followed through with the use of a knife or a gun in school.
Over 20% of teachers had been verbally or physically assaulted by a parent or guardian, with 6% falling victim to an intruder in the school.
The majority of teachers (57%) reported that poor pupil behaviour interfered with their ability to do their jobs.
Violence is seen as a “major problem for young people” by more than 80% of 11 to 16-year-olds, according to a survey for a children’s charity.
The NSPCC survey found that 42% of children had been hit, punched or kicked at secondary school.
Three-quarters had been bullied at school, while one in four had seen adults in the family being violent.
The charity wants Gordon Brown to use his first 100 days as prime minister to tackle violence against children.
According to the survey, large number of UK youngsters were witnesses to violence, with 59% saying they had seen violence or bullying between young people on the street.