Bullying and getting into drugs are criminal activities, but
littering and truancy are not, according to a new survey of young
people’s views on criminal and antisocial behaviour.
Research conducted by members of Liverpool Youth Service found that
teenagers did not regard activities such as playing football in
residential areas and hanging around on street corners as
constituting antisocial behaviour.
Teenagers cited a lack of training and employment, limited access
to youth services, boredom, stress, deprivation and poor parental
supervision as the main causes of youth offending.
Young people believed that greater involvement in their community,
better relationships with the police, mentors and more
opportunities were the key factors in preventing criminal and
They also felt that police needed to be more aware of young
people’s needs and called on them to find ways of improving
The researchers from the Liverpool Youth Service youth engagement
team said the survey’s findings reflected a pervasive lack of
understanding of what commonly constituted antisocial behaviour.
They identified a need for more information about antisocial
behaviour orders and said that many young people were caught
committing antisocial acts without realising they were doing
The group also called for the media to present more positive images
of young people and urged greater public understanding of what
drives young offenders towards antisocial and criminal behaviour.