U.K. police forces

In Immingham (a small town in Lincolnshire), residents old and young were involved in an innovative meeting to discuss the social and economic regeneration of the town. The town has, like many others, been a victim to anti-social behaviour. The meeting brought about the establishment of a 'Young Person's Forum' to allow the voice of the younger residents to be heard. This innovative measure is one of many, which draws on youth interaction with the problems in certain towns and counties. This could be something that other problem area's may look at adopting if proved successful, it gives the youth a sense of belonging, and with that comes self-pride, and one's own morals to uphold giving the community something positive in return.

Although measures are being sought to solve the problem of anti-social behaviour, punitive measures to deal with it are on the increase. Staying in the county of Lincolnshire, police in Grimsby are following up a "successful pilot scheme" (Grimsby evening telegraph mon mar 29 pg 3), enforced by a number of U.K. police forces, in dealing with anti social behaviour or as the local paper described it, "Instant fines for loutish acts in public" (Grimsby evening telegraph, Monday march 24th 2004, page 3).

The police in these cases use their discretion to issue penalty notices, such fines include 'Buying or attempting to buy alcohol for consumption in a bar or licensed premises by a person under 18'; 'Consumption of alcohol in a designated public space', both fore mentioned acts would carry a fine of , with the following carrying a fine of 80; 'Using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress under section five of the Public Order Act 1986'. 

So should we police nuisance? It seems through research that many attributable acts of nuisance has a lot to do with social conditions. The marginalized of society seem to come under closer scrutiny from the police than that of the bourgeoisie. 

It may be argued, that nuisance can serve as a catalyst for crime, as has been demonstrated within this essay. To add further weight to this argument, we can look at how the broken windows theory applied by social psychologists can result in nuisance leading to crime. The theory is of the belief that; "A piece of property is abandoned, weeds grow up, a window is smashed. Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the children, emboldened, become more rowdy. Families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenagers gather in front of the corner store.

The merchant asks them to move; they refuse. Fights occur. Litter accumulates. People start drinking in front of the grocery; in time, an inebriate slumps to the sidewalk and is allowed to sleep it off". The theory has been strengthened, by looking at some of the most run down estates in the United Kindgom, when a deserted house has a window broken, it doesn't take long before the building becomes more of a liability than a worthy residential property. The broken window theory is an example, of how letting such things as that, or in the case of this essay, a group of rowdy youths, can eventually lead to anti-social behaviour and ultimately crime.

Young people may feel victimised if they are constantly being watched, be it by local residents, or in most cases of nuisance complaints, the police. It is however, vitally important that residents be allowed to live without fear or intimidation, and whether the rowdy gang of youths on the street corner empathise with this or not, it needs to be sought to be implemented, not only for the residents but for the future of the youths too.