Sir Alan Sugar has argued that drastic action is needed to combat the problems in British society.

The businessman had told contestants on last week's episode of The Apprentice that the greetings card industry could market a product aimed at the parents of children who have been stabbed.

And speaking to the Sun newspaper, the Amstrad owner has explained that his concern for Britain's escalating level of crime among young people is very real.

"People might have thought it was a bit odd me banging on about my concern for these parents, but I wasn't joking," he explained.

"You talk about an 'occasion' for cards to be sent. Well, kids being stabbed is a frequent 'occasion' these days.

"It's beyond my comprehension that I hear every day of someone being stabbed. It's like the weather. You know it's going to happen, you just read to find out the details."

The 61-year-old tycoon, worth an estimated £800 million, has urged the government to significantly increase investment in the nation's police force.

"This government has shown it can put huge sums of money behind causes it believes in. Look at the Iraq war - billions were spent on that and we're still spending now," he said.

"Imagine if the kind of money we threw at that situation went into more police. The rotten kids out there need to be the ones who are worried — worried they’re going to be in a world of trouble if they cause offence."

The former Tottenham Hotspur chairman, who presided over the highest-ever ratings for The Apprentice last week, also criticised "crazy" human rights rules that prevent teachers and police officers from "handing out discipline" and called on parents of troubled youngsters to take more of an active interest in their children's lives.

07/05/2008 12:17:03