Published: 13:58, 05 April 2019
| Updated: 14:08, 05 April 2019
County councillors from the Conservative party claim parents are to blame for a rise in crime.
This comes after a 25% increase in recorded incidents of violent crime in Kent and Medway last year.
More than 870 offences involving a knife or a sharp instrument were reported compared to 717 in the previous year.
There has also been a rise in gangs from London grooming children in Kent to take part in drug-related crimes.
These County Lines gang-related crimes are the most prevalent in Medway, Dover, Canterbury and Thanet.
Cllr Rosalind Binks believes Kent has "parenting problems", which are to blame for this hike in crime.
Watch: Kent Police carry out raids following an increase in drug and knife crimes
At the Kent County Council scrutiny committee meeting on April 3, she said: "What I've noticed is nobody actually ever likes to talk about action with parents.
"If everybody's brutally honest, they know an awful lot of the blame or cause is actually the parents or the families.
"We have a parenting problem in this country and county, I think, not that I'm a perfect parent - far from it.
"I think we have a problem and nobody likes to actually mention it too much because it's not considered 'the thing to do' but I do think one has to do it."
She suggested social workers should "take action" against bad parents when children are at nursery school age.
Cllr Alan Ridgers (Con) agreed adding the "first line of responsibility" is with the parents and guardians.
He said: "Children's behaviour seems to be the responsibility of young workers, teachers, police, fire service, KCC and everybody else.
"I would like to see something being done in the future to strengthen the connection with the parent to make sure they bring their children up as socially, morally responsible individuals.
"I'm sure if you all look back to your childhoods, it was the parents that dominated your thinking and behaviour.
"I don't think it's right to defer responsibility to an endless list of statutory bodies."
While Cllr Matthew Balfour has a "horrible suspicion" a lack of a male role models and loneliness is to blame for Kent youths joining gangs.
"I'm sure if you all look back to your childhoods, it was the parents that dominated your thinking and behaviour..." Cllr Alan Ridgers
He claimed social isolation and loneliness within young people and the lack of places is a factor.
Cllr Balfour said: "I have a horrible suspicion that quite a lot of the gang culture arises from the lack of somewhere to be as young people.
"They quite often don't have a good male role model and therefore they are actually looking for an element of friendship and somewhere to 'societally' live."
The councillors' comments came on the same day that a government plan was unveiled which could force teachers and NHS workers to report children possibly involved in knife crime.
Watch: More than £1 million given to the county to reduce knife crime.
However Labour councillors have criticised the Tories for cutting youth services which could save the taxpayer money in the long run.
Cllr Dr Lauren Sullivan said: "The institute for fiscal studies say we could cater in youth work for £500 per year for a young person compared to in a youth offending facility, £350,000."
Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Pritchard told councillors how money is best spent at an early point of intervention.
He said: "We would really encourage a robust approach to early intervention.
"Most of the people sitting in Cookham Wood young offenders' prison are there for a reason but largely because they have had a large number of traumatic incidents as young people..." Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Pritchard
"I think we've seen a degradation because of a reduction in public services funding and a lot of that has created a shift into responsibility onto police because things have become too late.
"Any money spent in early interventions or prevention with a child in relation to their personal safety and social confidence and self esteem are critical.
"There are plenty of studies that demonstrate the benefits of money spent at an early point of intervention."
However Det Supt Pritchard added "adverse childhood experiences" negatively impact the wellbeing and emotional development of children.
He said: "Most of the people sitting in Cookham Wood young offenders' prison are there for a reason but largely because they have had a large number of traumatic incidents as young people.
"They weren't born bad in most cases. If any.
"They shouldn't be there if we've got the approach for them at a young age right."