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Television is often cited as a cause of violent crime or behaviour. Usually, this connection is made in the context of the behaviour of young people - as another way of blaming them for the broader ills of society. It is rare, however, for even a single reference to television to be included in the index of reports on juvenile crime. Television, it seems, is presented as an increasingly influential force in society, even though there has been scant discussion on how it really influences the behaviour of young people. Brian Simpson seeks to redress the balance and investigates why television has become a welcome scape-goat.