Teen gang yobs facing the letter of the law

PUBLISHED: 07:42 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:31 24 May 2010

POLICE are writing letters to parents of nuisance youths calling for them to 'take more responsibility' after gang fighting in Worle

POLICE are writing letters to parents of nuisance youths calling for them to 'take more responsibility' after gang fighting in Worle. More than 20 members of rival gangs gathered at Castle Batch last weekend to 'fight it out', prompting numerous calls to the police.Sergeant Dave Holtby said: "It has always been a gathering point but there's been nothing of this nature before. The gangs don't like each other and decided to fight it out."We are hoping to identify all the culprits so we can write to their parents and hopefully cut the amount of antisocial behaviour in future."The letters are part of a new policy by Avon and Somerset Constabulary to tackle problem youths.As soon as they are spotted in 'suspicious' circumstances officers will write to their parents, telling them where their child was and what they were doing.If a parent is written to more than once police officers will go to their house and talk to them about their child's behaviour. If the youth is still found to be causing problems the police will get them to sign an acceptable behaviour contract (ABC).The evidence built up can then be used to get a court to impose an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) on the youth banning them from certain areas if the ABC fails.Sgt Holtby said: "We need parents to take more responsibility. It will be easier for them to do this if they know where their kids are and what they are up to."Initially, parents will be told if their child is spotted in circumstances that make them vulnerable to becoming involved in crime or being a victim of crime."For example when there is a group of kids in Ashcombe Park the vast majority are not doing anything wrong, but do their parents know they are there mixing with the ones who are causing trouble?"As soon as a youth has been identified and a letter sent to their parents their details can be referred to the Youth Offending Team and social services."Invariably there is something other agencies can do to help as well.

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