15 Feb 2013

A leading children’s charity has welcomed alternative measures to tackle anti-social behaviour by the Home Affairs Select Committee

The committee’s report contains a number of recommendations put forward by The Children’s Society. These included calling on the government to include alternative measures to tackle anti-social behaviour and an emphasis on using informal support before resorting to punitive measures.

The Children’s Society's Policy Director Ellen Broome, who gave evidence to the committee, said:

'We are concerned that this Bill is simply putting a sticking plaster on issues around anti-social behaviour, rather than tackling the roots causes. It is a repeat of what we know hasn’t worked before and risks fast-tracking children into the courts.

Tackling the root causes

'Many children in trouble with the law have experienced abuse, deprivation or have physical or learning disabilities. We know from our experience of supporting these children up and down the country that mediation, mentoring, restorative justice and other less formal ways of tackling this issue work much better.

'Both children and the wider community are worse off if children are unnecessarily drawn into the criminal justice system.  Everyone loses out if normal childhood behaviour, like playing football in the park, becomes criminalised.'

The Children’s Society is a member of the Standing Committee on Youth Justice.

Media enquiries

For more information on The Children’s Society and the Make Runaways Safe campaign, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or on email. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.