Government toughens stance over antisocial behaviour

Intensive fostering is to be introduced as an alternative to
custody for young offenders under new legislation to combat
antisocial behaviour.

Children’s charities have protested at the move claiming
that fostering will be used as a form of punishment.

The White Paper Respect and Responsibility also
proposes intensive support for families of children who are deemed
out of control, with the option of residential placements for
parents and their children, which could be imposed as part of a
parenting order.

Local education authorities and schools will be given powers to
require parents of children who miss school regularly, or have been
excluded for serious misbehaviour, to sign parenting contracts.
Local education authorities will also be able to seek a
free-standing parenting order where a child has been excluded for
serious misbehaviour, and police, teachers and local education
authority staff will be able to fine parents of truants with a
fixed penalty notice.

Consideration is also being given to issuing fixed penalty
notices to parents of children under 16 if the child’s

behaviour would have resulted in a penalty if they had been over
16. Fixed penalty notices will be extended to include low level
offences of criminal damage, and will now cover 16 and 17 year olds
who will be expected to pay their own fines.

Youth offending teams will be given a power to issue parenting
contracts to the parents of young offenders, and to apply to the
courts for parenting orders related to antisocial or criminal

The Bill will propose extending the intensive phase of the
intensive supervision and surveillance programme – the alternative
to custody for persistent young offenders – from six to 12

Children subject to Antisocial Behavioural Orders (Asbos) will
lose the right to anonymity, so that details of the order can be
publicised. They may also be required to accept help, such as drug
treatment, under a new Individual Support Order to be introduced
under the Criminal Justice Bill. When Asbos are issued, courts will
have to consider issuing a parenting order at the same time.

Other measures in the White Paper affecting children and young
people include the banning of sales of spray paints to people under
18, and restrictions on when fireworks can be used.

– The White Paper can be downloaded from

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