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Action to steer youngsters away from life of crime

Three out-of-control teenagers have been made the subjects of civil injunctions after their bad behaviour escalated.

Boston Borough Council's anti-social behaviour team took the three from the Boston area - two aged 16 and one aged 15 - to court when all other attempts to put them on the straight and narrow were ignored.

The three, who, by law, cannot be identified because of their ages, had behaved in an anti-social manner, causing harassment, alarm and distress. Their disorder included throwing eggs at people's homes and came to a head when a fire extinguisher was hurled from the roof of shops in Pescod Square.

A total of 17 incidents of anti-social behaviour had been recorded against one of the youths between February, 2015 and March, 2016. He had also been involved in two incidents requiring police attention. Another had 15 incidents recorded between May, 2015, and March, 2016, and 11 separate incidents needing police attention and the other seven between June, 2015 and December, 2016, and six involving police.

Boston Borough Council anti-social behaviour officers had seen the boys, together with their parents to discuss their behaviour and to agree and get them to sign an acceptable behaviour contract (ABC). Two failed to turn up twice at the agreed meeting to sign their ABC. They continued to be involved in anti-social behaviour, one was arrested for a hate crime-related offence. The other breached the agreement and committed further acts of anti-social behaviour and failed to attend school. They had been banned from going into some shops in town. None of the parents opposed the civil injunction applications.

All three are now on final warnings for 12 months and further anti-social behaviour will see them before magistrates and at serious risk of having a criminal record. Two were given curfews and have to be indoors between 7.30pm and 7am. All three were ordered not to associate with each other and banned from entering areas of town, including Pescod Square. A breach of any order could see them arrested by police.

Ian Dunn, one of the council's two anti-social behaviour officers, said: "The orders are for the protection of the public, but the action against the lads has been taken so they do not  involve themselves in anymore anti-social behaviour and steer them away from a life of criminality before it is too late."

Ian said it may not be understood that anyone can report instances of anti-social behaviour that they see. They should call police on 101. But if they need advice about whether incidents qualify as anti-social behaviour they can call the council's ASB team for advice on 01205 314318.

"The legal definition is if the behaviour causes harassment, alarm or distress, but it can sometimes be a little tricky to decide whether the behaviour fits that description. We can help by investigating and can offer advice to prevent the nuisance in the future, and take other action if necessary," said Ian.