Home > Resolving Issues > What to do About Teenage Gangs

What to do About Teenage Gangs

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 13 Apr 2024 | comments*Discuss
Dealing With Groups Of Teenagers

Merely a day goes by these days without us reading about some instance of anti-social behaviour caused by groups of teenagers congregating in a particular area. It’s important that we don’t tar all teenagers with the same brush, however.

Many teenagers who might congregate near your home often do so because there’s simply no other suitable place to go and hang out. And, in the vast majority of instances, they’re not going to cause trouble or even be remotely interested in your presence if you are, for example, simply passing by them to enter a shop.

However, there will be the odd group who will be out to cause either mischief or to be abusive to passers-by and, in certain instances, the situation could even get out of hand. But the best advice is to avoid any confrontation when Tackling These Teenage Groups. Most of us are only too aware of the horrific crimes that have been perpetrated by anti-social youths which have resulted in severe injuries and even deaths inflicted upon innocent members of the community, including adults.

What Can I Do as a Resident About a Problem?

Because of the many different circumstances that might surround a particular issue, you should not try to tackle the problem of Teenage Anti-Social Behaviour yourself. Even if a gang is verbally abusive towards you, simply avoid acknowledging the behaviour and Contact The Police. Obviously, if they inflict any kind of physical assault on you, you should call the police immediately. The important thing is not to try to tackle the problem yourself. Here are some good reasons why:

  • You’re likely to be far outnumbered
  • While answering them back may get things off your chest, this could escalate the situation to the point where you might be subject to a physical attack
  • They could be carrying weapons, such as knives and even guns, and be prepared to use them
  • They could be high on alcohol and/or drugs and may be oblivious to any subsequent action they might take
  • They might know where you live and target your property as a place to cause further mischief and potentially cause criminal damage to both your property and to you and your family

The key thing you should do is to call the police and leave it to them to deal with.

Gathering Evidence

It can be difficult not to be provoked if a group of teenagers are causing trouble or generally making a nuisance of themselves outside your property or in your immediate neighbourhood, but one useful piece of action you can take is to gather as much information as you can about the group. Some strategies you can use include:

  • Noting times/dates and specific locations of particular problems and making notes of any physical descriptions. Teenagers often wear individual and distinctive clothing, often with logos on so getting descriptions is usually fairly easy.
  • Listening out for any names or ‘nicknames’ that are used in conversation. Note: teenagers tend to talk loudly, especially in gangs or groups so this shouldn’t be too difficult either.
  • If the behaviour is right outside your house, consider capturing some video or camera footage which might help identify them to the police. Only do this from the safety of your home and where you can’t be seen recording. Don’t adopt this latter tactic when you are out in the open where you could be seen by the gang as this is likely to provoke them

The Powers of The Police

If you report an incident of problem teenagers to the police, they will come out and investigate and they have the power to tell people in a group to leave the area and not to return for at least 24 hours (when, of course, it might be necessary to repeat the exercise again).

Further measures can be taken if problems persist. These include asking teenagers to agree to an Acceptable Behaviour Contract and if they contravene that, it can then result in them being issued with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) and even in prosecution if they do not comply later which could lead to a jail sentence.

Getting The Right Balance

It is important to bear in mind, however, that perfectly law-abiding teenagers can be hanging around in groups anywhere for want of not having anywhere better to congregate, and the police only have the power to intervene where they are causing distress, alarm and/or intimidation to other members of the general public.

If this isn’t the case, police, including local community officers, might still go and have a chat with the group. But if the teenagers are not causing any problems, such as those outlined above, the police must use their discretion when deciding whether or not there is any course of action they can take.

From a resident’s perspective, any issues resulting from anti-social behaviour or criminal activity involving teenagers should be reported to the police, as we are all aware of the tragedies that can come about as a result of trying to tackle this problem individually.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Can you help me plan
Gang - 13-Apr-24 @ 8:27 PM
I have lived in my home from 1994 to date I have over fifteen crime number logged within past four year because of two families in our street criminal damage, harassment, public order placed on one family,two disability hate crimes windscreen of disable car smashed ,brand new car persistently hit with cricket and footballs ,adults at my door threatening me deliberate malicious shouting accusions of being racist banging on my home window doors and back gates adults and children running riot over my front garden ,been video on fones pointed out in a supermarket as women who hates certain ethnic groups breach of tenancy served by anti social behaviour office and a hate crime police officer now the intimidation and harassment still ongoing every day I have friends,family ,neighboursas witnesses and full CCTV evidence .... Leeds city council housing and the police have done nothing ...both my husband and myself have long term medical conditions and I have disabilities...with no lite at the end of the tunnel I give in ....our street is a horrible place to live if I had the choice to move I would take the chance knowing withinthe next year I will not be here due to a medical condition....
Cate - 29-May-23 @ 11:47 PM
mandy - 2-May-23 @ 7:41 PM
I have lived in my privately owned home for 28yrs on a council estate. Teenagers are constantly trying to break my windows. My hubby ran after them but they just disappeared. If I phone the police they come but nothing is done about it. I'm disabled and fear that they will keep trying to break my windows until they succeed. Can't these Teenagers do something worthwhile with their sorry and boring lives instead of terrorising innocent people. No respect to age or property.
Trazzles - 22-Mar-23 @ 4:45 PM
I have put up with teenager setting fires, urinating and smashing bottles so I put on my alarm every time to prove l"m innocent and although it did make them worse as time has gone on they don't come back so much and I got rid of some of them all together permanently as they then got nervous as more people got involved and wanted them dealt with really.
Alarm - 18-Jul-21 @ 12:46 AM
I moved to my house when my youngest son had just had a operation on his legs & had pots on both legs he was out with his sister on the way home my son sat down on the path a couple of houses down a woman come walking up to him quickly with a pram so he stood up to get out the way & she ramed the pram in to him & shouts move in his face. So I go out to see what's going on as my kids come running in& before I know it about 6 of them stood outside & this woman trying to tell me she a social worker & she knows i moved here because of problems with a pedophile. None of it true. But now the full street hate me & I rang the police they did nothing. Since then it's got worse & worse gangs outside my house my kids been assaulted threatened by grown up thinking there guna hit them with planks of wood. But the police don't want to come out because if my neighbours are like that then they will get worse when the police go talk to them about it & I have to live next to them. So I'm in a hopeless situation where me & my kids arnt even safe in our own home. So I don't know what to do but it's making us all miserable
Marie77 - 19-Jun-21 @ 5:42 AM
Every youth's an ethnic youth, @Ratzicub, just depends on if they are an ethnic minority, you state that the youths who are upsetting you are ethnic youths, maybe it's because of your prejudices against them that will be clear and obvious to them that they pay you the same amount of respectfulness that you pay them.
so tired of racists - 26-Nov-20 @ 5:31 PM
Furthermore I myself was problem teenage child whom runnings around all hours before my father bring me in, beat me with wooden spoon to my ankles and say, Tchatchamomonomi Borostengon, boy, you can run but you cannot hide from the almighty lord of hosts and I become scared with fright. Tchatchamomonomi, he say, you will never be ome great mens without first learn a trade. He send me to the rubbishes dump for findings wires and cables and with my bare hands I stripped from copper wires the plastics with which to start fire. And when such fires arose in the neighborhood, came the runnings and rushings and scurryings of many rats. Instead of doing as I was told and weighing copper cables into vegetable weighing device, I knitted their fabrics into humane traps. Rats came in copper humane traps and so for first time in my life I was knowledgeable business man age only threeteen. With lemomaids stall sells plus rat pet shop based on six balded tyres and a old door, I was no longer straydog Borostengon, but valid member of community. But how my father beat me agains with this time blacksmithed ladle in knees not ankles, when my neighbour Torontonomoni stole copper.
Rev.Tchatchamomonomi - 25-Nov-20 @ 9:30 PM
I live at the corner house of two streets connecting.For years, I could even say decades I have had our house sprayed with graffiti, eggs smashed on our home. A 19-20 year old running threw our yard and a car chasing this young man shooting, we have bullet holes in our home!I am greatfu & so thankful that noone was home at our house. So I paid to put up a 6 foot privacy fence. I can't tell you the times the fence has been graffitied. Having a home on a corner lot may be great in alot of neighborhoods, not mine. Now I am looking for the best our door cameras.
Li - 23-Jul-20 @ 2:04 PM
The Police do nothing. If they come out it’s hours later and the youths have gone. If they come out at all . So, I have youths, shouting screaming into the early hours next to my house. They drink alcohol smoke take drugs smash bottles light fires. Hey are untouchable, if you speak to them you get abuse. Go in the garden your accused of being nosey and spying on them and get abuse. My garden is effectively out of bounds at these times. Police Scotland have done nothing. I spoke to the local community police officer and he said it’s a park kids play in a park. Yeah but should they be lighting fires screaming like banshees in the early hours waking up our children who are scared, should they be smoking drinking being abusive?
Jack - 21-Jul-20 @ 5:01 PM
I remember when I lived in London whenever their were feral youths causing trouble I immediately called the police. It nipped everything in the bud. Kids have got too much to lose nowadays, so go via the right methods. The Police. If they don't work then the issue is with the police as they're not doing their job. Vote to get a better, secure nation. There will always be feral teenagers about, up to no good. Just try to ignore them. Rise above it.
Impy - 18-Nov-19 @ 6:33 PM
It makes me so angry that there is nothing decent human beings can do to protect themselves and their families/property from such teenagers - the law seems to be that they can do whatever they like and we have to put up with it and let them continue. There is simply no deterrent for them and the police just aren’t interested - it’s so disgusting! Just hope they get bored and move on people say but why the hell should people have to put up with it - surely there should be some fine for their families or something against the teenager which might actually stop their behaviour - but no they are allowed to intimidate and harass people (some people to depression) and all the police do is turn a blind eye - what goods that??
Melanie - 15-Aug-19 @ 6:41 AM
I have a problem with a group of ethnic youths gathering at the side of my house playing cricket. Banging the walls and windows with he ball.. Screaming shouting at all hours.. I have a little girl who struggles to sleep because of the noise. I have mental health issues myself which are made worse by the noise. What can I do... I've asked them to move on and I just get mouthfuls of abuse. I've rang the police who say it's a council matter and rang council who say it's a police matter... My mental health is deteriorating with all this stress and moving is not an option due to cost of moving x
Ratzicub - 2-Jun-18 @ 8:46 PM
I've lived in my home for nearly 10 years now and in that time, have never had any issues outside or around my home. However, in the past month, a young man has moved in with his father next door who is now causing groups of up to 10-15 youths to gather on their lawn, on the road and in other peoples gardens and spending the whole day drinking and smoking weed. Their behaviour is constantly aggressive, we're not able to open the front windows of the house any more because of the aggressive & shouty nature of their behaviour but also the stench of weed. They have also taken to climbing on neighbours cars and throwing their rubbish into neighbouring gardens. I have spoken to the council about this and they've asked me to gather evidence in the form of a ASB diary, but I also have photos (and videos in some instances) of this going on. The Police have been called 2-3 times and it'll settle down again for a day or two, then return to this ongoing cycle of large gatherings and anti-social behaviour. The ASB officer for social housing also paid the owner a visit and explained that this would not be tolerated, but it hasn't helped at all. My partner has felt very threatened by these youths and she has also been subjected to insulting gestures and people intentionally blocking her entry into our house. I have confronted the guy who is the centre of all this, but he doesn't respond or react, just turns away, shrugs and walks off - only to return with his mates an hour or so later. I'm at the end of my tether with it - so much so, I've put my house up for sale because I just don't want to be around this any more. My biggest concern is that these youths will put off potential buyer with their behaviour and anti-social nature, so I'm just stuck. My partner & I both commute to London every day for work and we don't get much sleep any more because of this - we feel trapped in our own home and powerless to deal with these idiots. They're not in education and don't work either - so it's constant, every day, every night. Help!!!!!
Bowser - 2-Sep-16 @ 1:51 PM
Who cares especially if its near Halloween trick or treat and it isnt costing you any money or break-ins. Its how they play. If its slander wait until they work in the workplace with you then beat them up and sue the employers for allowing misconduct, and get their adress off the employer if they dont give you it beat employerup as well
will - 24-Apr-16 @ 3:28 PM
They will be moving in next to your property next, its what they do. Half of these kids sound like they would do nothing unless it becomes a daily activity
will - 24-Apr-16 @ 2:47 PM
One teen in particular around where I live constantly harasses/shouts/swears at me and/or my girlfriend whenever we walk by and we are fed up with trying to ignore it. What are my options?
CW - 23-Apr-16 @ 11:15 PM
Do I need permission from my neighbour to replace three wooden panels on my boundary. I don't have to go into their garden from the front, just step one foot in on the boundary to put two screws in?
Julie - 18-Jan-16 @ 6:21 AM
lou lou - Your Question:
A group of teenagers have been throwing stones at me and my neighbours propertyWhat should I do?

Our Response:
Call your local police/PCSO.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Oct-15 @ 12:10 PM
A group of teenagers have been throwing stones at me and my neighbours property What should I do?
lou lou - 14-Oct-15 @ 3:53 PM
@izzy. If the behaviour is as bad as you suggest, it's a matter for the police.
ProblemNeighbours - 16-Jul-15 @ 2:40 PM
I have a group of youths ages are between 8- 13. They have been harrassing me and my two kids. They have been throwing rocks, bricks and stones at my kids. They throw stones at my windows. They accuse my kids of kicking a dog and throwing a jacket in a dog waste bin. They swear and call names to us and gather around where my kids are playing. I dont know what to do.
izzy - 13-Jul-15 @ 1:23 AM
The other side of my fence is a neighbours concrete drive. the weeds that are growing on his side of the fence he says are mine and I need to come and clear them. He says that as his concrete drive is his property and the weeds are growing in soil they are mine. Is it my resposability to go onto his property and clear these weeds?
Elle - 26-Jun-15 @ 3:11 PM
Loads of problems coming from a problem family who likes to spread rumours and lie about others they lies especially t will get her in trouble when there went on holiday was a blessing All should be given a asbo. Causing problems with neighbours people got the right t I told Iive in peace
kathy - 29-May-15 @ 12:16 PM
I own an end terrace house.There is a small piece of land at the side of my house where a house years ago used to be.This house was demolished around 1990.A neighbour who is related to the previous owner of the house has put up a fence which means I have no access, ie to paint my end gable.According to land registry, this piece of land is not owned by anyone.I just want to access this land to enable painters to do their job What can I do????
Pat - 20-Nov-14 @ 6:39 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments