Having the Conversation
Most people think Anti-social behaviour is not a crime which most of it isn’t in itself but can cause criminality. As said before when somebody is subject to ongoing behaviour causing them to feel stressed and angry then people lash out and this is where the criminality can be caused, assault, criminal damage, verbal abuse are just a few offences that we know are caused by anti-social behaviour so it is key for you and your child to know and think of the consequences.
It is key to know that ASB can also be tackled by the Council on behalf of the community and the impact that this is having. There are a number of powers which the Council have to tackle such issues from a civil stance. These powers are:
Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs)
You may be asked to sign an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC), which puts conditions in place that you need to stick to for a 6 month period in order to prevent you causing further anti-social behaviour. Breach this and you may be asked to put it right by litter picking, cleaning police vehicles or helping with a community project for example.
If it’s a serious breach or if you keep breaching your ABC, further steps may be taken such as a Community protection Notice being issued.
Community Protection Notices
In cases of persistent, unreasonable behaviour, a Community Protection Notice may be issued by the police or the local council. This is a formal legal notice that contains requirements that you must stick to in order to prevent further anti-social behaviour. These conditions may include things that you can’t do such as; a curfew, people that you can’t associate with, places that you can’t go to or things that you have to do such as attending appointments with the Youth Offending Team or careers service for example.
Breaching a Community Protection Notice without a very good reason is a criminal offence which could either be dealt with by a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) of £100 which has to be paid within 14 days or you may be taken to court where the maximum penalty is currently a fine of £2500 as well as a criminal record!
The court may also make an order requiring any item that you have used to commit anti-social behaviour to be seized by the police. That speaker you keep playing loud music from … that bike you keep riding anti-socially … the phone that you keep recording and sharing incidents on could all be taken from you and not returned.
If you’re under 16, a Community Protection Notice would be served on your parents. This means that if the conditions are breached, they would risk a hefty fine and a criminal record … for your anti-social behaviour!
In the most serious cases, the police or local council may apply to a court for an injunction or a Criminal Behaviour Order in order to put strict conditions in place to prevent you being involved in any further anti-social behaviour. Breaching these orders has very serious consequences which can even include you being sent to prison.
Did you know that anti-social behaviour can also end up with you being evicted from your home? In serious cases, the police or the council can take action to evict you and your family from your home in order to prevent you causing further anti-social behaviour. That’s you, your parents, any siblings and even your pets kicked out of their home!
As parents there is a responsibility to let your child know about such behaviour, speak about the consequences and also challenge their behaviour if you feel it may fall into the category of ASB. As said above there can be real consequences to such behaviour which could potentially have been stopped if an open and honest conversation was had and people held accountable for their actions. With ASB the key thing is to ask yourself the question, ‘how could my behaviour impact somebody else, how could it make them feel?’. We all want to feel safe and comfortable where we live, let’s stop ASB and challenge this when it is at the early stages so further consequences and issues can be stamped out.
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