Court not always the solution
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.