A quarter of over-50s would cross the road to avoid a group of teenagers while 40% say they would not dare to ask a youngster to move their feet from a bus or train seat.
That’s the finding of an independent survey of more than 14,000 people conducted by Populus on behalf of Saga, the over 50s holidays, lifestyle and financial services organisation.
People in London and the North West of England were/are? most likely to divert to avoid a group of teenagers – 28% said they would cross the street – while youngsters in Northern Ireland were/are said to be the least intimidating, with only 18% of over 50s saying they would make a route change to avoid teens.
Now oldies champion Emma Soames says that a convincing set of policies to address “feral youth” issues would win big election support from over 55s, who are three times as likely to vote as under-25s.
“Street safety is a big priority for the over 50s – as highlighted in the Saga Generation Manifesto, which is the result of consultation with 14,000 older people,” said Emma Soames, editor-at-large of Saga Magazine.
“When I was a teenager, we’d cross the road to avoid adults – but for entirely different reasons: to let them pass unhindered; but times have changed dramatically in the past 40years, and, unfortunately, a few feral teens who show no respect at all has affected perceptions of the majority and its got to the point that many older people avoid using public transport when schools come out.
“Street safety for older people, the bad behaviour of a minority of younger people, and, crucially, correcting the incorrect perception of the majority of teenagers as troublemakers need to become key election issues.”
For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529