media headlines of anti social behaviour caused by young people
Anti Social Behaviour Report by Community Action Group
has been compiled by members of the community in response to The Safer
St. Helier initiative. Our original remit was to use the Waterfront area
for our research into Anti Social Behaviour and its underlying causes.
As a group,
we felt that focussing our research on this area alone would imply (to
the general public) that we were solely concerned with the issues that
effected businesses and new developments in that area. With that in mind,
we decided to focus on Peoples Park and the surrounding area and the influence
young people have on the community by acts of Anti Social Behaviour.
from this focal study can be used broadly across the whole of St. Helier
as it encompasses behaviour witnessed elsewhere. We also felt the Adult
form of Anti Social Behaviour needs to be examined on its own merit as
the means of our research would be different.
We are researching
a form of behaviour that exists within a small percentage of the 7000
or so young people of Jersey. That it is only a small percentage needs
to be applauded to recognise that Jersey's young people will, and can
develop into citizens to be proud of. Someone, somewhere, must be doing
is to make this small percentage even smaller and for it not to increase
to levels of Anti Social Behaviour witnessed in UK cities.
of Jersey Alcohol Strategy (2001) recognises the role alcohol has in young
person's lives and highlights the link between drinking and disorderly
behaviour but fails to mention the methods and ease of obtaining alcohol
and how it should be dealt with. It appears the accepted norm, even in
this report, that alcohol supply to young people is going to happen.
to Health Promotion Town Alcohol Project (2006) by Luke Shobbrook et all.,
'Binge Drinkers' have become the focus of negative attention from the
media and the general public, who consider their behaviour to be unacceptable.
same project report: Attitudes Towards Alcohol Use, young people recognise
that without alcohol - they would just go home and if you misbehaved "its
OK 'cause you're drunk but you should still be held responsible"
was the comment from one young person. Drink has an influence on their
moods - "if you're in a bad mood when you start, it just gets worse
- if you're in a happy mood - you just get happier and happier".
of the young people is that you "can't stop young people drinking
- whatever the situation - if there's a curfew or whatever - they will
still go out and drink". Reviews of prevention initiatives have found
that educational approaches do little to reduce heavy drinking by young
Promotion Town Alcohol Project (2006) did not mention the effect that
young peoples drinking behaviour has on the community as a whole, and
even reflects 'that most young people come to no harm as a result of their
of alcohol has a very influential part to play in the anti social behaviour
of both adults and young people. We have discovered during our research
that the influence of alcohol plays a major part in the behaviour of young
people that then allows them to release their inhibitions to get involved
in situations that annoy the community to the level of the description
of "Anti Social Behaviour".
recognise at this stage that not all young people are hell bent on causing
trouble; they just want to hang out at various venues and to meet up and
chill together. There are different social groups within the youth community
that do have there own standards of dress and behaviour. What attracts
one person to one group and not another is open to speculation. The groups
we have come across are diverse in their make up, there are the Chav's,
Goth's, Emo's, Townie's, Skater's, all of these groups do consume alcohol
at some time or other.
a consensus of opinion within the youth community that the Chav's are
the likely group to get involved in anti social behaviour as part of being
a Chav....its their thing.
and aggression is a result of intoxication in younger people (much the
same as adults) - young girls are now becoming more prevalent in this
form of behaviour which was primarily a male issue. Violence can be directed
at friends and strangers alike.
we have spoken to have been decent, respectful and mature in their attitude
and very easy to talk to. Some had been drinking but were just happy and
boisterous but, they did understand the concerns of adults about behaviour
but mentioned that they felt adults didn't understand them or had forgotten
how it was when they were younger and what they really got up to at their
Is it a
case that as adults we have a selective memory process that shuts out
the activities that were going on around us when we were younger, that
by today's standards would be construed as Anti-Social?
portrayal of young people's involvement in anti social behaviour is a
means of sensationalist reporting. Young people do not have a voice to
defend themselves against their critics; therefore any negative reporting
by the Media goes undefended.
are a soft target option for the Media who we believe are guilty of exploiting
this. This further influences public opinion that the Anti Social ills
of the community fall squarely on the younger generation.
back drop of Media coverage it is very difficult for young people to gain
respect from the community and for the community to recognise there are
issues that need to be addressed.
put into context the whole issue of Anti Social Behaviour
are the largest offenders of this offence. It is very difficult to condemn
one social group for their behaviour without recognising the influence
the more mature peer pressure group are having by their behaviour. A case
of the kettle calling the pot black!
But it is
important to recognise and state that there are deeper issues involved.
It appears we are in a communal vicious circle. The end result is Anti
Social Behaviour that manifests itself to its conclusion by a series of
the evolutionary trail of Anti Social Behaviour is a mammoth task and
with the amount of time available to research this matter in any depth
was way beyond the remit of our volunteer group.
only scratched the surface of these deeper issues and we would encourage
an extension of this report to explore the evolutionary trail to its core
development. To tackle anti social behaviour at its point of conception
would be of greater benefit to the community as a whole but, more importantly,
to the individual whose life may be blighted by this form of activity.
are the responsibility of their parents; some parents are negligent in
that responsibility to the point of not bothering because it is too much
like hard work, equally, the children themselves do know right from wrong
and should shoulder some of the responsibility for their actions.
play a pivotal role by demonstrating their own behaviour in alcohol use.
to Education Departments Parenting Programme for information and advice
must be encouraged and enforced if required, as an urgent means to address
The parenting program statistics are inconclusive as to how successful
the program is as there are no means to measure the success or attendance
people obtain there alcohol is matter of great concern, we have recognised
the availability of alcohol and how it is obtained does raise some issues.
We have discovered the methods of obtaining drink range from deceit, theft,
intimidating and threatening behaviour to favours of an unsavoury nature
with persons who are vulnerable to these forms of approach.
to the unsavoury nature employed to coerce someone into the role of purchasing
alcohol, we are concerned at the level of harm male and female participants
who take part in this sort of coercion are actually exposing themselves
Unit with only two members to police the licensing trade are severely
under staffed. We believe this situation need to be addressed as a matter
of urgency if we wish to control the supply of alcohol to under age drinkers.
Training is currently available for Licensee's and their staff on a voluntary
basis. We believe the training requirement should be compulsory with a
form of I.D. issued to the member of staff who has attended the course.
This I.D. will then be on show much the same way as a PSV Badge is. Only
the person with this form of I.D. can be permitted to sell alcohol.
of the criteria for punitive action against individuals who knowingly
supply alcohol to under age drinkers and the way the courts (not parish
hall enquiries) deal with the offenders and the level of fines imposed
are not viewed as stringent enough. A punitive action of "three strikes
and you're out" should be employed against licensees with regard
to their alcohol licence.
only three convictions for selling alcohol to people under age were successfully
dealt with by the Courts. All three convictions took place on the same
day with little or no publicity. We have to accept that to deal with the
issue of illegally supplying alcohol to under age drinkers, the Courts
must make an example and the Media must play its part in fair reporting
of this offence.
is there? A few hundred pounds fine to a shop is nothing but a slap on
the wrist. It can be demoralising for the Licensing Unit and the General
Public to see the lack of convictions and appropriate penalties imposed.
trade needs to be reminded of its responsibilities in respect of alcohol
sales to under age drinkers through the educational approach adopted by
the under staffed Licensing Unit.
Court is the only place to deal with these offences in a proper manner.
A fine of £2000 imposed on anyone who has purchased or aided and
abetted the purchase of alcohol to under age drinkers must be imposed
with no reduction. Warning signs of the illegality of purchasing alcohol
for persons under age and the penalties imposed should be displayed at
off licences in English, Portuguese and Polish.
no procedures in place to record under age drinking when a young person
has committed an offence. This data would be crucial in establishing the
direct influence alcohol plays in Anti Social Behaviour offences. It would
also give guidance in understanding behavioural problems developing within
young persons groups.
and, in some cases, extreme measures that some young people will go to
obtain alcohol needs to be addressed. We believe that if more stringent
control or tightening up of existing procedures were put in place to combat
the relative ease of obtaining alcohol, then under age drinking habits
will be put under some form of measurable control.
end, we would recommend the banning of consuming alcohol in specific public
areas. This would also go some way to addressing the adult element of
Anti Social Behaviour. We recognise there would need to be the Political
will and a change in existing law to implement this change, not to mention
the demand on Police man power to enforce this ban.
ban was implemented, we believe there would be a huge shift away from
drink related Anti Social Behaviour, especially amongst the young.
Youth Workers are paramount to the success of any form of informal contact
with young people as they do not feel intimidated by the casual approach
employed by these youth workers and a bond of trust and understanding
is formed. We believe this form of contact should be encouraged and enhanced.
It can sometimes be the only means of getting the views and opinions of
the individual groups concerned that are important for any feedback at
all. More importantly, it can help the young people out there who may
be vulnerable to certain situations that friendly advice from a youth
worker may alter the actions of an individual or a group.
discovered that not all young people wish to frequent youth clubs, as
they feel that they want their freedom to express themselves away from
the confines of an organised, structured establishment. However, we do
recognise the role youth clubs have within the younger community and those
that frequent them ask why they are not open on a Saturday night when
more of their friends are out looking for something to do. This will help
to encourage participation and continuity in the youth club scene.
night opening of youth clubs will help to deter young people from moving
into areas where problems already exist and being influenced by the behaviour
of other groups.
highlights the effect on the community by young people's drinking behaviour
and how we feel it should be tackled - not just reasoned with. Existing
research refers to educational measures only - that does not work on its
own, if at all. A ban on drinking in public places will go a long way
to discourage this sort of behaviour. Whether the authorities are keen
to do this remains to be seen. The problem with any law is the enforcement
and the will to enforce. The first crucial step is the Political will.
any of the measures mentioned in this report will have a positive impact
on Anti Social Behaviour perpetrated by Adults and Young People alike.
Community Action Group.
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