Monday, December 15
Kids' sexcapades worry Indian parents in UK
Kids' sexcapades worry Indian parents in UK
Shyam Bhatia in London,, December 16, 2003

Indian parents living in the UK are turning to private detectives to find out if their children are being tempted into taking drugs or having sex.

Rising levels of prosperity mean that members of the Indian community, and also some Bangladeshis, are prepared to pay thousands of pounds to have their children watched when they are away from home.

Bangladeshi Muslim parents are especially sensitive about their daughters becoming too 'westernised'.

Some European resorts off the coast of Greece and Italy, and others further afeild in the Caribbean, are notorious for attracting teenagers who get roped into drink and sex orgies.

The stories of these excesses have become alarming, especially around Christmas and in the summer months.

"Substance misuse is a big one," says Nigel Parsons of detective agency Answers Investigations in Surrey.

"Then again, it's not what the kid is doing, it's whom they are socialising with. Indian parents are extremely protective and the sense of family is much stronger than it is with the English."

Compared to five years ago, when contact with the UK-based Indian community was minimal, Parsons says he now takes four to five calls a week from worried Indian parents.

The agency does not function as a parental substitute, he says, and adds that he does not believe in 'spying' on kids. But he does admit using unorthodox methods, including hiring teenage 'agents' to keep track of clients' children.

At the equivalent of US$75 an hour his services do not come cheap, but Parsons explains the parents are so alive to the many dangers facing their children that they are prepared to go the extra mile to keep them safe.

He says White English parents are just as concerned about what goes on in their teenage children's private lives, as are some educational institutions.

Parsons cites the example of a junior college that used the services of one of his female detectives to infiltrate a suspected drug ring among some of the pupils.

The agent who was selected for the undercover job was a 26-year- old woman who pretended she was a 17-year-old teenager preparing for her 'A' levels. After successfully ingratiating herself with one group of youngsters partial to loud music, smoking and soft drugs, she made her excuses and reported them to the college authorities.

On that occasion no Indian teenagers were involved.
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