Court not al­ways the so­lu­tion

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your -

AnTI-

SO­CIAL be­hav­iour is some­thing of a can­cer which af­fects many ar­eas of the city.

Or­di­nary folk un­able to go about liv­ing their lives in peace be­come pris­on­ers in their own homes be­cause of the ac­tions of a few if it is not nipped in the bud.

In the case re­ported on page five to­day, the yob bring­ing ter­ror to his neigh­bour­hood is a pri­mary school pupil aged just 11.

More than 20 in­ci­dents of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour have been logged in their area this year alone, and the tear­away’s name crops up in nearly ev­ery one. But what can be done? no doubt cyn­ics may well con­sider mak­ing him sign an ac­cept­able be­hav­iour con­tract an in­ef­fec­tive waste of ev­ery­one’s time.

The usual re­sponse to such meth­ods is to “haul him be­fore the courts” and deal with him in a proper man­ner. But surely that is missing the point. Many of the in­ci­dents are not crimes which can be pun­ished to any great de­gree, but merely of nui­sance value to the peo­ple who live there, so wast­ing the po­lice’s and the court’s time makes no sense.

Be­hav­iour or­ders clearly of­fer far more pro­tec­tion to those be­ing af­fected – and should the be­hav­iour con­tinue, greater sen­tenc­ing op­tions .

And there is also the threat to the fam­ily as ten­ants of hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion Cross keys should they fail to keep him un­der con­trol and the yob con­tin­ues his reign of ter­ror.

It is im­por­tant that the au­thor­i­ties do what they can to main­tain peace in any neigh­bour­hood, but plac­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity on those caus­ing the prob­lems and their fam­i­lies is just as vi­tal to bring­ing it to an end.

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