Spot fines for 16 and 17 year olds confirmed

Sixteen and seventeen year olds will be subject to fixed penalty
notices for a range of misdemeanours including noise nuisance,
truancy and graffiti if measures in the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill
become law.  The Bill, which received its second reading last week,
has come under fierce attack from children’s rights

The Children’s Society said it was “outraged”
by proposals in the Bill to allow any police officer to impose an
on the spot curfew for children under age 16.  This would seriously
restrict children’s freedom, including their opportunities to
meet and play,, says the charity. Policy manager Sharon Moore
asked, “Who determines the line between children playing and
being a nuisance? We recognise that nuisance behaviour must be
tackled . But these plans will label vulnerable children as
criminals for non- criminal behaviour – pushing them towards
a life of crime.”

The Children’s Society has also attacked proposals for
school staff and other officials to be able to fine children and
their parents, which would push families further into poverty.
Plans to increase landlords’ powers to evict families would
“not only fail to tackle the root causes of anti-social
behaviour but threaten children’s health and well
being”, said Moore.

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