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  New laws target anti-social kids
Updated 20 January 2004, 15.26
The police are now allowed to break up groups
Kids who misbehave in public could find themselves in a lot more trouble under new rules brought in on Tuesday.

The police have been given powers to break up groups who hang around shops, playgrounds and other public places.

They're also allowed to take under 16s home if they're playing up after 9pm and not being supervised by an adult.

The rules are part of loads of new measures which have been brought in to make people feel safer in their communities and to stop intimidation.

The police are now allowed to break up groups
The police are now allowed to break up groups

Kids are affected by quite a few of the new measures.

Newspapers and councils now have the right to name and shame kids who are given anti-social behaviour orders.

The legal age for owning an air gun has now been raised from 14 to 17.

Fines

Sixteen and 17-year-olds can now be given on-the-spot fines for offences such as making hoax 999 calls and throwing fireworks.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said: "From today people have new tools in their fight against neighbours from hell, intimidating groups on their streets and potentially lethal firearms."

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