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Anti Social Behaviour

In: Social Issues

Submitted By helenatkinson1
Words 1468
Pages 6
Without a single definition of the term anti-social behaviour, what is, and what is not classified as anti-social behaviour, is an ongoing debate. The wide spectrum of behaviours which can be covered under the expression anti-social behaviour, differ greatly in levels of intensity. This is seen through The Scottish Executive, 2003, which states anti-social behaviour can encompass anything from dog fouling and littering, to sexual harassment and violence. The Home Office and the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 give different, yet both extremely vague, descriptions of anti-social behaviour; while the Home Office defines it as ‘any aggressive, intimidating or destructive activity that damages or destroys another person's quality of life,’ the 1998 Act expresses it as behaviour that ‘causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress to one of more persons not of the same households’. People hold different views on anti-social behaviour, due to how and where they were brought up, just as can generation and cultural differences cause diverse perceptions. Due to the vagueness of the term anti-social, it can allow anybody to be accused by anyone of being anti-social. This gives many problems as how to tackle anti-social behaviour, as the area of trouble is so large, and as society and technology is changing, new policy developments need to be continually made.

A distinctive characteristic of anti-social behaviour is the insignificance of whether the criminal law has actually been broken. As a replacement from violating the criminal law, a breach of the civil law is undertaken (Brown, 2004) and subsequently the line between the two is blurred (Burney, 2002). The consequence of the term anti-social behaviour being so vague, however, is that literally anything can be seen to break these civil laws and be perceived as anti-social, and, as Burney (2002) put it, anti-social behaviour…...

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