Anti-social behaviour and the law
Communities can suffer greatly when anti-social behaviour becomes a problem in their area. The law gives local authorities and the police certain powers to take action. The police also work closely with head teachers to deal with anti-social behaviour in schools.
Action can be taken in many different ways:
- letters and interviews warning people to stop behaving badly
- acceptable behaviour contracts / agreements educating individuals that certain behaviour is unacceptable and supports that individual to behave responsibly
- ordering groups of people to break up and leave the area, these are also known as ‘Dispersal Areas’
- individual support orders (where a young person involved in anti-social behaviour might have to attend counselling or guidance sessions)
- parenting orders (similar to individual support orders but for the parent or parents of a young person involved in anti-social behaviour)
- if certain illegal drugs are found to be used in a building or venue it could be closed down
- repossession proceedings against a tenant (someone living in a house being told they cannot live there anymore)
- anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs)
Many acts which may constitute anti-social behaviour are also criminal offences and people who commit them may be arrested.
Anti Social Behaviour Orders
An ASBO sets out rules that you must stick to. If you are given an ASBO, this does not mean that you have a criminal record. But if you break the terms of your ASBO, then you have broken the law and further action will be taken. This is likely to mean you being arrested and you could go to prison.