The link between childhood behaviour and crime

Most UK crime caused by people with childhood behavioural problems, study says | Society | The Guardian

I was quite worried when I saw this headline, and was reassured to read on and find that it was all about early intervention to make sure that children who were continually behaving badly were led back to the straight path, as it were. Fair enough. But what does worry me is that, every time some serious crime happens, like a murder, the press feels free to display whatever dirt they have on the convicted person, including any history of mental illness, personality disorder or conditions like Asperger’s or OCD (as I remember from a number of high-profile murders).

Sooner or later, we are going to see a murder happen and, as always happens, there will be a lot of hand-wringing as there always is about why this was allowed to happen and how anything like it can be stopped from happening in the future. So far, we have a criminal record check and now some sort of safeguarding authority which tracks not only convictions but also accusations. If someone turns out to have no criminal record but is in his teens or early twenties and has a history of school problems, people are going to ask questions as to why “such people” were allowed to work with children, or with elderly or disabled people. Although it’s not on the agenda right now, it only takes one tragedy to change that, which is why headlines like this worry me as a person who had a statement for special needs relating to behaviour issues, and spent his early teens in a “special” school.

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