[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 13:53 GMT
Louts' parents 'face 100 fines'
John Reid
Mr Reid said 'clear and tough' punishments were needed
Parents could face fines of 100 for their children's anti-social behaviour, Home Secretary John Reid has said.

He also announced that homeowners could be evicted over persistent anti-social behaviour, such as excessive noise or the intimidation of neighbours.

Mr Reid promised to put "victims' needs first" by imposing "clear and tough" punishments on offenders.

He spoke at the launch of consultation on a new range of measures to deal with anti-social behaviour.

'Raves and brothels'

Mr Reid proposed making parents liable for fines imposed on under-16s who breach acceptable behaviour contracts - voluntary agreements signed by offenders and groups such as the police.

They would be liable to pay the penalty without first going to court.

The Home Office also announced that the top rate for a wide range of existing on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice fines would increase from 80 to 100.

The consultation document also backs expanding nationwide the pilot scheme which makes parents liable for fixed penalty notices imposed on 10 to 15-year-olds "to underline the expectation that parents take responsibility for their child's behaviour".

Meanwhile, it said "closure orders" could be imposed on badly behaved homeowners, whose residences could be boarded up "for a set period, regardless of tenure".

In a speech in Bristol, Mr Reid said: "Perhaps it's a site used for raves or a house used as a brothel which draws people in at all times of the night and day.

"Shutting them down would be a last resort. But it could be done in 48-hours.

"We already do this successfully for crack dens - including 52 in Bristol alone, since January 2004, according to the city's anti-social behaviour team - and that's made a huge difference to people."

The premises would normally be closed for three months, with the possibility of applying to courts for another three months "in exceptional circumstances".

Mr Reid said: "Some people will complain that what we want to do... impinges on people's rights.

"But communities have rights too, and the rights of individuals don't entitle them to cause mayhem for locals."

Some 13,000 acceptable behaviour contracts were signed between October 2003 and September last year.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific