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Britain to send in 'supernannies' to fight anti-social behavior


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The British government said Tuesday it will call on nearly 80 "supernannies" to advise parents aiming to reduce anti-social behaviour involving their children.

In an apparent reference to a reality television programme called "Supernanny", shown in several European countries, including Britain, the interior ministry announced a package of four million pounds (5.9 million euros, 7.6 million dollars) to finance the deployment of 77 experts into local communities.

Dubbed "supernannies", these experts will function as counsellors and provide help for parents who worry about bad behaviour among their children, the ministry said in a statement, stressing that the education of parents often involves explaining the attitudes of children.

The "supernannies", who will be deployed next year, will meet with parents either on collective courses or in face-to-face talks.

"Parents are the single biggest influence on a child's life but being a parent can be a difficult job and sometimes people need help to stop their kids getting into trouble," John Reid, the Home Secretary (interior minister) said in a statement.

"This is about acting responsibly and recognising that good parenting can be learnt, bringing benefits to all."

Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday insisted that it was right to provide "a bit of nannying" for children and families, saying that the government will provide "pressure and support".

According to a poll of 2,000 people aged over 16 by Ipsos MORI, 53 percent of Britons think that poor parenting is one of the "key causes" of anti-social behaviour.

Some 55 percent, meanwhile, think that better parenting would do the most to reduce crime.

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AFP 212302 GMT 11 06

COPYRIGHT 2006 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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