Fathers 4 Justice keen to set up offenders' group

Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O'Connor is planning to set up a scheme to help young offenders from fatherless homes in the latest phase of the group's 'growing-up' process.

In recent weeks, the organisation has expelled several members over alleged impropriety, and publicly distanced itself from its militant faction.

O'Connor said: "It's all part of the growing-up process. We are moving from adolescence to become more mature and smarter.

"It is a fact that children without fathers commit crimes, and we want to work with these children and highlight that link.

"Given the current debate about Asbos and teenage pregnancy, it's incredible that more research has not been done on the connection."

O'Connor anticipates that he will initially have to set up the project, the details of which are currently under discussion, using his own money.

But he hopes eventually to work in partnership with other sector organisations.

As part of this, he is considering setting up a separate entity that could apply for charitable status, leaving the original group to continue campaigning.

He added: "We don't want to just be seen as a group of fathers banging on about their rights. We want to put something back and this is something we are really passionate about."

The organisation is also planning a nationwide walking tour next spring called Future Heroes, which will again target young offenders.

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