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Anti-Social Behaviour & Children

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 30 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Anti-social Behaviour Anti-social

When children become involved in anti-social behaviour, it is often as a result of either bad parenting and/or they have simply ‘got in’ with the wrong crowd. Peer pressure can be extremely powerful when you’re young and, even though children may well have been brought up to hold decent values and to understand the concept of respect, they can still get into trouble and so blame cannot always be laid on the parents.

Nevertheless, parents themselves have a duty to try to ensure that their child is not engaging in activities deemed to be anti-social in nature or committing Criminal Offences.

Common Problems

Anti-social behaviour by children can manifest itself in a variety of ways but some of the more common problems include:

  • Noise Nuisance
  • Verbal abuse, harassment and threatening behaviour
  • Assault
  • Criminal damage to shops, cars and property
  • Throwing missiles
  • Joyriding
  • Vandalism and graffiti
  • Underage drinking or drug abuse

Measures to Tackle Anti-social Behaviour in Children

Although an individual member of the public cannot apply for the likes of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), the police, local authorities and registered landlords can, and there are also other legal measures which the relevant authorities can take. Here is a breakdown of what each course of action means.

Group Dispersal Orders

Police and local community support officers can break up a gathering of youths who might be harassing other members of the local community. They can be banned from revisiting a particular area for up to 24 hours and, if they fail to move on or return within that timescale, they can be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

In conjunction with the local authority, the police can also make certain areas out of bounds for specific groups of people by creating designated ‘no-go zones’. Here, the police have the power to take home any unsupervised children seen in the zone after 9pm.

Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)

This is a voluntary agreement which is drawn up between somebody who has been involved in anti-social behaviour and the local authority or police. In signing the contract, the offender has made a commitment not to continue with any further instances of such behaviour and, if they break this contract, they can then be served with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.

Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

This will usually be issued if either a child has broken an ABC or where their behaviour is causing alarm or distress to others. It prevents the offender from engaging in specific anti-social activities and/or going to certain area or associating with certain named people. An ASBO can be issued to a child as young as 10 and they can last for a minimum of 2 years. You can also be arrested if you break an ASBO.

Holding Parents To Account

Although some instances of a child’s anti-social behaviour will be as a result of peer pressure, many problems arise due to bad parenting or neglect of children, yet there are measures which can be put in place to make parents more responsible and accountable for the behaviour of their children. These include:

Parenting contracts – which are voluntary agreements drawn up between the likes of schools or a local authority’s youth offending team with parents of the child in question. They are for the likes of parents whose child has been playing truant or has been expelled from school and are aimed at improving the child’s behaviour.

Parenting orders – these are issued by the court and can be used when a child has either been already convicted of a crime or when they have engaged in anti-social behaviour. They involve parents attending a course aimed at offering them guidance and advice for responsible parenting and making sure that their child goes to school, keeps away from places they are not permitted to go unsupervised, and/or for making sure that their child is at home by a particular time. They can be issued for up to a period of 12 months.

Penalty notices – schools, the police and local authorities can issue fines to the parents of a child who is playing truant. And if the parents fail to pay the fine, they can be prosecuted.

For the most part, tackling problems associated with children and anti-social behaviour is a joint effort where parents, schools, local authorities and the police all need to work together with children to educate them about moral values and respect, both for themselves and for others.

When that is achieved, anti-social behaviour by children inevitably tails off and, if it doesn’t, then some of the measures above and further measures are in place to ensure that the behaviour of a child is not allowed to blight the whole community.

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I'm at my wits end with the kids around here! They are constantly throwing things at the windows this happens at least 6 times a day! My neighbor has just had his window smashed! The only thing i can do is tell them off! But as you would expect they just throw lots of abuse at me! They beat my son up on a-couple of occasions. And that's just the start of it. They don't even live on this estate. They live in council houses a-round the corner! I just don't no what to do?!? I can't harm them as they are minors and I'll be the one in trouble! It's like I've just got to sit back and take the abuse! Need help!!
Craig86 - 30-Nov-17 @ 6:55 PM
Hi, wonder if anyone out there can give me advise - its a own house, kids around 15 years old have been consistently throw large slate stones at my windows.(got a broken window last week) They came friday, saturday, thurdsday and a week after on firday. The heavy rain and wind these past few days has stopped then coming. I feel target by these kid form the area, scared and frightened and times. I feel its all related to this boy 1 back in early March throwing stones at our street and had cctv installed.Boy 1 was name on this Octember and have police given warning not taken to court because I did not what further trouble.Boy 1 must have talk to his friends/gang and now I have kids consistently throwing stone at my house, same boys but with different people at times.Polices have came and can't idenfield them. I had shock window alarm put on window, admit a loud sound when hit. Not stop them coming back. I don't know what to do anymore- friends told me to ignore them, let them throw and they will go away. I'm a sitting duck no matter what. last resort sell and move out!
scared - 22-Oct-17 @ 10:42 AM
SM- Your Question:
We have two families - their children ruin our lives. They live in the neighbouring street, but their car parking bays are back of the property and on the same residential car park as where I park. Obviously, they have a back gate by their parking bays.Then in the middle of my road - not theirs, is a playground with equipment surrounding by grass.The children of mixed gender are 7-15 years old, at a guess and they scream - you should not be screaming if your age is in double figures, unless you are on a theme park ride. They play football when there are signs no ball games are allowed. They stare at us, swear at us. Then when they are on their bikes or microscooters and see us driving on the road (L-shaped cul-de-sac), they purposely block the road up and swear at us.There is no point talking to their parents as they either deny their children do such things or hurl lies and abuse at us in public. I work in a shop down the 2 streets of shops about 10 mins walk from here. One of them wanted me to get the sack because of false things they said about me about their children. One example was I was looking at their kids. I was making a cup of tea at the time - my kitchen looks over the playground green area and needed to keep my eyes open to pour the water! They never worked in the lives.I hate the school holidays, especially the summer ones and I hope and pray to get rain on my days off - which shouldn't be the case as the horrible kids won't be outside.I am now having to draw the curtains and blinds in my lounge and kitchen now so the parents don't accuse me of looking at their kids. Listening to the TV now involves wearing wireless headphones as I cannot be watching it when there are screams and swear words shouted outside.What can we do?

Our Response:
Are you renting or do you own? If you live in an area where lots of the propertiesare council or housing association owned, you should contact the relevant body (council/housing association), they may be able to identify the children and take action. Alternatively they may be able to liaise with the local PCSO who can talk to the children. The council can take action in the form of a civil injunction to deal with antisocial behaviour from tenants. They can also issue community protection notices and public spaces protection orders. Ask them about these specifically to see whether they are appropriate.
ProblemNeighbours - 5-Jul-17 @ 10:20 AM
We have two families - their children ruin our lives. They live in the neighbouring street, but their car parking bays are back of the property and on the same residential car park as where I park. Obviously, they have a back gate by their parking bays.Then in the middle of my road - not theirs, is a playground with equipment surrounding by grass. The children of mixed gender are 7-15 years old, at a guess and they scream - you should not be screaming if your age is in double figures, unless you are on a theme park ride. They play football when there are signs no ball games are allowed. They stare at us, swear at us. Then when they are on their bikes or microscooters and see us driving on the road (L-shaped cul-de-sac), they purposely block the road up and swear at us. There is no point talking to their parents as they either deny their children do such things or hurl lies and abuse at us in public. I work in a shop down the 2 streets of shops about10 mins walk from here. One of them wanted me to get the sack because of false things they said about me about their children. One example was I was looking at their kids. I was making a cup of tea at the time - my kitchen looks over the playground green area and needed to keep my eyes open to pour the water! They never worked in the lives. I hate the school holidays, especially the summer ones and I hope and pray to get rain on my days off - which shouldn't be the case as the horrible kids won't be outside. I am now having to draw the curtains and blinds in my lounge and kitchen now so the parents don't accuse me of looking at their kids. Listening to the TV now involves wearing wireless headphones as I cannot be watching it when there are screams and swear words shouted outside. What can we do?
SM - 4-Jul-17 @ 7:26 AM
Hi I can sympathise with most things our estate isn't as bad as some yet we have the dreaded 'football' issue, last night I was relaxg in front of tv when heard the familiar faint thuds of the football hittg the front of my living room, (am in a bungalow), the thuds got louder and after 20mins stopped but needless to say I struggled to relax. Saw two policemen today and I've had advice not to approach the youths, just ring 101 and they'll try to come over. Our council don't do anythg but sadly, this time of year is my least favourite because of that football. I wish I could move my bungalow and live in a field. If anyone has same trouble KEEP phoning as it does help...sort of!
Unhappy - 3-Jul-17 @ 5:09 PM
We have a group of kids in our area who are running riot. This has been going on for 2years. They have assaulted my son many times been cautioned and charged parents spoken to. They have also attacked my car. Thrown stones at windows shout abuse vulgar things harass myself my son and my parents. Police have been involved for 2years we keep getting told it's difficult to stop this because of there ages which range from 8-12. My son can't go out and we can't walk the streets is there anything else we can do to stop this.
Jackie - 30-Mar-17 @ 10:38 AM
What happen if a child would smash a glass bottle and the camera so him what would the police do
Edy - 23-Jan-17 @ 4:24 PM
Neighbours moved in six months ago. We put up with daily screaming, shouting, banging, at all hours by their four old. I am a parent and have never heard anything like it. Had a chat with them after a couple of months. No change. Child kicks, yells, has screeched at our cat & dog. I thought there were child protection issues or perhaps autism-type problems However, speaking with the other neighbour, we realised that the parents often deliberately wind-up the child. E.g. The neighbour knocked on my wall, during another episode at 6.30am on a Sunday. The neighbour put on the hairdryer and left it on for an hour. The child was distraught. I have recordings, it's like they're in your room. Their landlord is aware and sent a letter, but won't make soundproofing provisions e.g. boards or carpets. We all have children, but have not experienced this before. Lots of tears, exhaustion. Earplugs causing earwax. Just recently the neighbour has taken to leaving a chirping burglar alarm on, which chirps 24/7 when they're away. What's our next step? Their letting agent & landlord won't do anymore. We feel sorry for the little lad because he's not learning his "in door voice" and generally antisocial, so it will only get worse. Thanks in advance.
Isca - 11-Nov-16 @ 5:34 PM
I'm fed up with the way this countries local authorities have little to no power in stopping abusive violent minors from terrorising regular people. I am at pains to do anything. I know if I hit one I'm in big trouble, so I just have to stand there and take abuse from them - and they know this too. More needs to be done to help tackle this problem
EddyJ - 20-Sep-16 @ 12:06 PM
The area I live in is semi rural, was so peaceful and quiet until they built new houses and now I'm having kids playing football outside my bungalow, the parents don't care, the kids are naughty and backchat, what can I do?
Julie - 4-Sep-16 @ 1:03 PM
I live in a dead end Road near a blocked off Road where cars can turn to exit. I am 3 doors in from there and about 5 kids 3 are from one family are playing football always outside my home tried telling them and parents I don't want my house damaged, insulted shouted at by parents or guardians in front of kids leave them to run feral till 10pm and their swearing is adult, what time is it that 10 -12 year olds should be home?
Halfpenny - 22-Aug-16 @ 10:07 PM
I have a few kids running around and riding their bikes in the street and pavement every day. That's not the problem...the problem is they throw water bombs, wet toilet roll on the windows to the front of the house. Today they were about to throw a glass bottle but couldn't see that I was standing in front of the window (net curtain) so they couldn't see inside...I shouted out, "Don't do it!" And they ran off...then 30 seconds later came back to finish what theyou started...I opened the front door and the little one ran whilst the others were on bikes. You can see along the street these wet tissue 'bombs' splattered on other houses where people are on holiday. What can I do? These kids do not live on this street as I've seen them on other streets. They ride their bikes up and down as it's the quieter of the few... Please help...pregnant and stressed and don't need to fear stepping out my front door in case they throw something at me or smash a window?!
Stella - 11-Aug-16 @ 4:09 PM
NT - Your Question:
Hi my neighbours children are really out of control and I don't know what to do. I have spoken to the parents on a number of occasions and they don't care. The tried hitting my nephew with a knife the other day and nothing was done about it and I feel it's unfair if I stop our kids from going outside what shall I do?

Our Response:
You can stop the neighbour's children from entering your garden. Just keep your own children in your own garden unless you're with them.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Aug-16 @ 11:38 AM
Hi my neighbours children are really out of control and I don't know what to do. I have spoken to the parents on a number of occasions and they don't care. The tried hitting my nephew with a knife the other day and nothing was done about it and I feel it's unfair if I stop our kids from going outside what shall I do?
NT - 7-Aug-16 @ 6:42 PM
Hi Not sure who I have to get in touch with about this, we have problems with kids vandalising my property and also throwing stuff in to my back garden they climb on to the garages then on to my wall, my concern is that I'm not able to let my Grandaughter play out in the back garden as I'm so scared that she will get hurt if they throw something over while she is out there playing.the kids keep through things into my garden like glass bottle metal pipes etc they also keep vandalising my green by pulling up my plants we have asked them nicely to get off the wall but we get a load of abuse from them,we can't contact the parents as they are not from the area. This has only happened for the Last 2 year since the council made us remove the ivory bushes as it was damaging there garages and now we have this, it's every day when the kids come home from school. WHAT CAN I DO
Jill - 9-Jun-16 @ 9:28 AM
dutch - Your Question:
I live with my husband who is disabled next door to a family of 5 children aged 2 to 10 years old,they are very noisey running around starting at 5.30 am till 10 pm.We are not able to sit in our garden due to a consent squireling and bad langauge.can we do anything

Our Response:
Try talking to the neighbours first. Generally there is not much you can do about family noise but if the language is as bad as you say, your local police community support officer might be willing to get involved.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Jun-16 @ 11:09 AM
I live with my husband who is disabled next door to a family of 5 children aged 2 to 10 years old,they are very noisey running around starting at 5.30 am till 10 pm.We are not able to sit in our garden due to a consent squireling and bad langauge.can we do anything
dutch - 6-Jun-16 @ 6:31 PM
Hello am glad I am not alone in this world of unruly and selfish kids. Yes I am 34 and live in a bungalow there are two others, I am on the end. Around the bungalows are council houses (northumberland council) and unfortunately every spring/summer kids gather on the front area and play football which I despair of as some of them on purpose kick the ball against the living room which the sound vibrates and I hear in the bedroom even with my music on loud. I can only not hear it if I go into the kitchen and shut the door with my wireless headphones on. I caught one of them kicking the ball into my front garden, leaving the ball and then kicked it on the front door at 7:45pm before going away, I am very nervous of loud noises and I generally dont have a problem with the area or the bungalow but when I hear the footbal I wish sometimes I could run away or move. I house sit for my dad when he stays at the caravan he has no such trouble like this and I wish I could move but am unemployed and moving isnt cheap and why should i move because of stupid kids? I try to tolerate it but get very nervous when the bang against the property is loud my neighbour hates it too but our council wont act unless we know who the parents of the child are. We tend to get gatherings of 8-10 kiids during the summer, not every day but I feel so stuck and sick when I wonder how to get through this. I find the police aren't that helpful. Anyone else have footballs hit against the properties??
Stressed out - 4-Jun-16 @ 9:50 PM
I am one frustrated disabled elder lady.........children from across the road come over and ride there scooters up and down my front window goading my husband to go out .....he went out once and asked them to move (i was in bed ) ..being in a bungalow they were 12 foot from my window......i heard them laughing at him then when he came in they were doing it again staring into my bungalow laughing.... when i got up and went out i was told my dads over he wants to talk to HIM in there .....i told him if your dad wants to talk to us then fetch him but to no avail....so i got dressed and went over to this childs dad ...i said to him "you wanted to talk to me ?" to which the answer was "NO"so i told him about his children annoying the elderly whom was in bed his reply was they are kids lady was you not a kid once.............NO RESPECT AT ALL..........they just laughed at me .....oh yes it was 9pm......what can i do ???
penny - 23-Apr-16 @ 10:06 PM
I live in an estate with a car parking in the middle and the houses are built around the parking. Parking is accessible via the electric gate or via our back garden doors. The problem is that on normal day there is about 10 kids playing football there, kicking the ball against the fences, cars ect. Riding bikes and doing all other sorts of things kids do. This woudnd be an issue but so far my car was dented and scratched, my wife's cas is badly scratched, a few of my neighbours cars have been either dented or scrached. The other problem is that one of my neighbours is a childminder and after school she's looking after her own and few other kids. But she's not really looking after them, she just let them out on the car park and she dissapears. There is no chance to have a peacefull afternoon inthe back garden because all you can hear are screams and bangs. Is there anything that can be done to stop this?
m4sta - 18-Apr-16 @ 6:58 PM
shoe lover - Your Question:
Himy down stairs neighbour has complained to the council that my 3 year old twin boys are too noisey and the council are talking about giving them and us an asbothe boys have sensory processing disorder so its not just a case of bad or noisey behaviour. the council arent taking any of this into account.any suggestions of help or advice

Our Response:
Is this noise during the day? Are you council tenants? Will the council consider re-housing you in more appropriate accommodation. It seems very strange for a council to discuss antisocial behaviour orders in relation to 3year olds.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Apr-16 @ 2:31 PM
hi my down stairs neighbour has complained to the council that my 3 year old twin boys are too noisey and the council are talking about giving them and us an asbo the boys have sensory processing disorder so its not just a case of bad or noisey behaviour.the council arent taking any of this into account. any suggestions of help or advice
shoe lover - 13-Apr-16 @ 5:18 PM
I love in housing association houses. N.ireland. my daughter has been bullyed for the passed 3 years by one family's kids the 9 year old is so bad to my 6 year old. She has hit kicked called her names pushed her off her bike. Left her out of games . Got the other children on the street to stop talking to her. It got so bad last year a got my housing officer involved.This family has four kids and the kids where start to be cheeky to me and my family when we walked in and out of are home. The parents made an greement they would watch the kids when they are outside playing . But they still don't watch them and my daughter has started getting bullyed my the girl again.Not sure what to do as perents of the kids are not that nice. And they have broke the agreement. Should I tell housing officer. Or will it make things worry??
up set - 10-Apr-16 @ 7:41 AM
I'mhaving the same problemkids playing football in a playing areaup in the flats we have a high level wall and the playing area is above that wall it's a small area for play don't think it's for football there's a mental light fencing but it's nothigh enough, every time the weather's lovelymy daughter likes to play in the garden the balls and heavy stuff as come over to ourgarden it'saccident waiting to happen . I've beenverballyabused by the young kids and a parent, andthekid one summerwere rude a vulgar stuff when my older daughter had a few friendsaround on her birthdaya ball came flying over hit the furniture and our drinks went everywhere and every summer or nice wheather it keeps going onsince 3 years we moved in had enough cause we like toenjoy our garden in the nice weather but can'trelax nothing as beendone fromcommunity police went round there and trying tocontact the landlord they don'tAnswer to your calls and we Emailedand ignoredthe Email completely. We can'tkeep on all the time it's so wearing and we have to sit back I might go to thepapersif nothing else can be done can't take it any more please help we had just had someone in our garden without our permission and broke the bin and the compost at the top of tthe garden.. getting nothing done?
Tinie - 5-Apr-16 @ 12:38 AM
Children in our estate always crowd around our back garden fence, they play football against another neighbours garage (none of the children's parents own the garage) they are loud and very rude out there. They've broken our fence and the garage door of our neighbour. we have to tell the children daily not to kick the ball at our fence, wall and the roof that joins our house to the next! At the end of my tether with telling them and them being rude in response! Just wondered if there was anything we could do about it
Banana - 4-Apr-16 @ 7:55 PM
Ans - Your Question:
This has been happening for about two years now, our road used to be a nice peaceful place until our next door neighbours moved in. Since we live near council flats, there are a lot of kids but the neighbour's kids started rounding them up and playing football outside our house, at first we didn't mind but it seems that they are using our house as a goal and only our house gets hit but when its theirs, they don't like it. When they have a gathering at their house, they sometimes throw rubbish into our back garden. We then called tye police because the children stared swearing excessively and loudly even other neighbours complained about it. We replaced our fence twice because they keep breaking it with the ball. My mum works nights so she gets disturbed as our windows even shake when the ball hits it. The small kids would sometimes open their window when we enter our house and they would keep calling out to us,"WHY ARE YOU BLACK" repeattedly. We have had enough and we really need help, they have also done other things but I only pointed out the most repeated things. I'm only 15 and cant really do anything about it so please help. Also the parents do not care, they will even watch their children be rude to us.

Our Response:
The police should be able to do something about both the racism and the antisocial behaviour. Tell you parents to contact your local police community support officer.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Apr-16 @ 11:38 AM
This has been happening for about two years now, our road used to be a nice peaceful place until our next door neighbours moved in. Since we live near council flats, there are a lot of kids but the neighbour's kids started rounding them up and playing football outside our house, at first we didn't mind but it seems that they are using our house as a goal and only our house gets hit but when its theirs, they don't like it. When they have a gathering at their house, they sometimes throw rubbish into our back garden. We then called tye police because the children stared swearing excessively and loudly even other neighbours complained about it. We replaced our fence twice because they keep breaking it with the ball. My mum works nights so she gets disturbed as our windows even shake when the ball hits it. The small kids would sometimes open their window when we enter our house and they would keep calling out to us,"WHY ARE YOU BLACK" repeattedly. We have had enough and we really need help, they have also done other things but I only pointed out the most repeated things. I'm only 15 and cant really do anything about it so please help. Also the parents do not care, they will even watch their children be rude to us.
Ans - 1-Apr-16 @ 11:43 AM
My son is currently smashing up the house screaming and swearing is this a police matter
Sam - 11-Feb-16 @ 6:12 PM
Scared Boy - Your Question:
Basically just after Christmas my friend rode his bike into staples( computer store and stuff like that) we didn't get no further than the security scanners I just walked in, after that they forwarded the CCTV footage to the police which then contacted school, will I get a asbo for this I am very scared and can someone please help me

Our Response:
We don't really know what action the police will take as this will be at their discretion.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Jan-16 @ 2:33 PM
Basically just after Christmas my friend rode his bike into staples( computer store and stuff like that) we didn't get no further than the security scanners I just walked in, after that they forwarded the CCTV footage to the police which then contacted school, will I get a asbo for this I am very scared and can someone please help me
Scared Boy - 23-Jan-16 @ 1:31 PM
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