Parents spy on kids

By Lunar Loops · May 23, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
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    Parents spy on kids
    By Stuart Sherwin

    May 22, 2006

    DESPERATE parents who fear their children are hooked on drugs or drink are hiring private detectives to track them.
    Brisbane detectives say parents are paying up to $1500 to have their worst fears confirmed, or put to rest, by undercover surveillance.
    Teenagers have been filmed taking drugs and drinking in pubs and clubs – sometimes by teenage investigators.
    Peter Harkin, of Brisbane-based International Detection Services, said worried parents contacted his firm every week.
    "Their kids might be staying out all night or hanging around with a new crowd. Parents might even find drugs in their own homes," he said. "They will come to us out of sheer frustration because they cannot get plausible explanations from their children. They are upset and simply looking for answers."
    Most youngsters involved are 15 to 18, but children as young as 13 have been tailed. A typical investigation costs $800 to $1500.

    Mr Harkin, a former policeman, said: "Drug use is very difficult to show as substances are taken quickly and privately, but in most instances we are able to provide . . . some evidence of drug or alcohol consumption."
    His firm usually uses younger detectives (one is 19) to watch teenagers. Inquiries often reveal nothing sinister. One teen staying out all night was cruising the streets in his beloved new car. When drug or alcohol addiction is found, IDS may put parents in touch with drug addiction experts, but otherwise its role is simply to establish facts.
    M&D Investigations, based on Brisbane's northside, also regularly tracks teenagers. A spokesman said: "You might have a child whose parents know they've been lying about their movements. We . . . find them going down the park drinking alcohol.
    "Sometimes it's parents who have money, but don't have time to spend with their children – wealthy parents who have a lot of business and work commitments."
    Caroline Salom, of the Brisbane office of DrugArm, a national drug counselling and rehabilitation service, said parents should first try to discuss concerns with children.
    "What we have found most effective in families where drug use is suspected is open, honest and understanding discussion with the young person," she said. "I'm surprised parents have chosen to hire detectives rather than discussing it with their children, but we do not condemn or condone such action."
    She advised worried parents to contact DrugArm's Home Assessment and Response Team.
    Mr Harkin said most parents did try to speak to their children before hiring his firm's services. " Sometimes parents have a right to know what's going on. To people who criticise our methods I just ask what would they do if they feared for their child?"

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  1. bewilderment
    Yeah, hire detectives to do the parenting...good job. This is the same kind of nonsense my parents would've done. My mother went through my room regularly and did a search. She once even found a pack of cigarettes I had hidden INSIDE A BEANBAG CHAIR. Who would look there? After she got remarried, my stepdad was a technology-freak. They bugged my computer and also bugged the phone. They read my emails, read my chats, found anything I posted online, and listened to my phone conversations. They also installed a motion detector on the liquor cabinet so that if I opened it during the night, all of the lights in the house went on. I felt like I was in prison. And, ya know what? It barely even curbed my drug-use. All it did was make me depressed and resentful towards them because there was no trust. I didn't trust them and they didn't trust me. In fact, when I think about it, it still makes my blood boil a bit.
  2. RunRedFox
    sounds familiar... my parents would confiscate my stuff and act like it never happened i swear i had to buy so much naptha because it kept going a miss... in the end they hired an "ed consultant" who told them to send me to mormon death camp in utah. overprotective parents raise messed up kids...
  3. bewilderment
    I concur. Either the kids go wild after getting a glimpse of the real world or they are extremely misinformed. That is, unless they take it upon themselves to do research and find out what's true and what's not in regards to the misinformation they've been giving. Personally, I think I would've turned out better had my parents had a more healthy attitude regarding both drugs and privacy. But, who knows? Ah, what could of been...
  4. old hippie 56
    Parents are putting key-logger trojans on PCs, so when their kid change the password on the sites they visit, the parents will know.
    My parents were always going thru my stuff, but this was back in the 60's and 70's, lost count how much I lost.
  5. RunRedFox
    and/or they become guarded and untrusting which totally fucks up any relationships they might have...
  6. bewilderment
    Quite true. I completely expect for people to be going through anything I might leave around these days even if I have no valid reason for this suspicion other than past experience. I also expect people to lie to me. I've been called more trusting than others (this is how I come across because I like to believe people do try to be good, but it's a dog-eat-dog world and some people see dishonesty and being manipulative as a way of survival), but I don't think is entirely accurate. It's more that I don't trust people, but I'm comfortable with that. I'm prepared to be deceived and it never gets me down when I am deceived because I expected it anyway. But, I simply don't care if people lie to me or not anymore because I've made peace with the fact that it's human nature...I take every single thing I ever hear with a grain of salt. Although, it still peeves me a bit because I make a purposeful attempt at being as honest and trustworthy as I possibly can be. But, my standards are higher for myself than for others, obviously.
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