THE crime commissioner for Hampshire has warned parents of young people to “step up” following a social media challenge which saw youngsters taken to hospital.

Donna Jones, Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner, has spoken out about “incredibly worrying” incidents organised by social media influencers on platforms including Tik Tok.

Her comments were made following several incidents including a rampage through Oxford Street, London on August 9 where hundreds of young people turned up, and a second last weekend in Southampton when children were taken to hospital following paracetamol overdoses. 

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According to the crime commissioner, the incident in Southampton happened after social media influencers set a challenge for young people to overdose on paracetamol to see who could be hospitalised for the longest.

“It’s incredibly worrying, it’s putting young people’s lives in danger,” she said.

She urged parents to “step up” because the multiple incidents were putting pressure on “stretched resources”.

Speaking to Times Radio, she said: “What we’ve seen over the last week are three or four incidents which have led to the safety of children being compromised and also criminal activities.

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“What I’m doing as chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the police and crime commissioner in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is saying look, police resources are stretched, ambulance and hospital resources are stretched, this is not sensible behaviour.

“We’ve seen a slow breakdown in societal norms and behaviours amongst young people, particularly across Britain over the last few years and now parents need to step up, they need to start parenting young people, they need to explain to them what is morally right and wrong, and particularly put a stop to those incidents which are criminal.”

She added: “This is Britain in 2023, what is going on?”