Kettering police are working to deal with anti-social behaviour and low-level crime in the town by taking young yobs home to their parents for a discussion about their behaviour.
PC Jason Cullum, of Kettering’s Safer Community Team, operates a scheme whereby all young people linked to any incidents of anti-social behaviour are spoken to in front of their parents at an early stage.
It is hoped that this early intervention – with an individual or a large group - will nip this behaviour in the bud.
PC Cullum said: “When young people gather in large groups, the behaviour tends to be led by a ring leader and the police response is normally to take the trouble makers home to their parents and let the others go on their way.
“The problem this creates is that this group do not see the consequences of this type of behaviour and it leaves the troublesome leaders to return the group and tell them whatever story.
“This would then strengthen a view that this behaviour is acceptable, keep the group together and increase the risk of their behaviour escalating.
“The ring leaders are likely to come from homes where discipline is less likely to be forthcoming and so their behaviour is more difficult to resolve.
“A positive to this scheme is that supportive parents will discipline their children and prevent them from returning to this group and offer police another avenue of gaining intelligence and increasing trust and confidence within the community.”
The police and other agencies can then target more difficult cases, where parental control and other deterrents have failed.
In one ‘nipped in the bud’ example, a PCSO visited a boy on the Avondale estate in Kettering who was singling out a family and throwing snowballs at their address.
The boy was part of a group also causing a problem at a local school.
The boy was spoken to with his mother, a single parent, and it was established that the boy was hugely affected by not having a positive male role model in his life.
It transpired that the boy was trying to get the attention of his father, who worked at the local school – the PCSO therefore completed a referral to the Turnaround Project.
In a second example, another PCSO visited a family where the boy was on the fringe of a group causing anti-social behaviour at McDonalds in Kettering town centre.
The boy’s mother was unaware of this – she was very pro-police and immediately banned her son from associating with the group.