YOUNG people in Bolton have been in the news for the wrong reasons this week.

This newspaper reported that wheelie bins in Longsight Park, Harwood, were destroyed after being set alight on Saturday night.

Burning bins isn’t a new phenomenon, but what these idiot vandals were doing as the plastic melted was a new one on me.

According to police these kids have discovered that they can get high from the fumes that the smouldering bins give off.

Meanwhile, also in Harwood, a group of up to 100 teenagers were reported to be causing trouble after they were kicked out of a house party in Bromley Cross.

And in Bolton town centre, a large number of under 18s who had been due to attend an event were turned away and, according to eyewitnesses, many were drunk, or high on weed.

It begs obvious questions — in what world does anyone think it’s ok to behave so anti-socially? And where on earth did these teenagers’ parents think their children were, or what they were doing? Do they even care?

The discipline and mentoring that leads to good manners and behaviour has to begin at home and at an early age.

Parents cannot abdicate their responsibility. To ensure that children do have that right way to conduct themselves instilled into them is hard work, as any parent will confirm.

It means being the ‘bad guy’ at times. It means showing a genuine interest in what your children are doing, who their friends are and where they go, which I can remember as a teenager is SO annoying. But it is necessary.

Children need boundaries and they need to know that crossing them means they will face consequences they will not like.

In the real world, of course, not all children are lucky enough to come from a stable home life.

That’s where organisations like Bolton Lads and Girls Club can provide strong role models/mentors to help guide youngsters. It’s also important that good behaviour is praised and rewarded.

Young people need an adult to teach them at an early age that they will get much further in life being polite, friendly and considerate, rather than making people’s lives a misery.

But we also shouldn’t tar all teenagers with the same brush. The stupid and mindless actions of a few daft youngsters don’t indicate the end of the world as we know it.

Every generation has its vandals, drug takers and louts; that doesn’t mean that particular generation is doomed. In fact, the vast majority of young people I meet and talk to today are just as polite – possibly even more so that in times gone by.

They are certainly more confident in general and more knowledgeable about the world and a lot more aware of others’ feelings than I’m sure I was growing up.

So, while it’s right to condemn those youngsters who couldn’t care less about their community, please remember that there is a much larger majority of young people who are just as disgusted at that sort of behaviour as everyone else.