They needed official research to figure this out. Anyway, better late than never:
The majority of Britain’s “problem families”, some of whom are blamed for last summer’s riots, are fatherless, official research has found.
About 72,000 of the most troubled families, 60 per cent of those being targeted by the Government, are headed by a single mother. The rate is about triple the national average.
An official review into the causes of last summer’s riots is expected to highlight the lack of “male role models” for many of the youths arrested in the wake of the widespread disturbances.
The riot panel, set up to investigate the problem, is thought to have become frustrated that few details of the family backgrounds of problem children have previously been recorded, despite it being such an important influence on their behaviour.
The issue has now quickly risen up the Prime Minister’s agenda and Downing Street aides believe that family breakdown is one of the most urgent problems facing Britain.
Last night, Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, said: “These troubled families are in total breakdown.
Britain’s problem families are estimated to cost the taxpayer £9?billion annually – an average of £75,000 each in benefits and the costs of other public services.
One senior Government source said it was striking how few teenagers had positive male role models. “When we ask who they look up to, it’s usually a footballer or reality TV star, whereas 20 years ago it would have been their father or grandfather. ”