VICTIMS of teeny troublemakers should be able to go to schools and pick out the culprits in assembly, a police committee chief has suggested.
Mr Maurice Cowell was speaking from the chair in a debate on anti-social behaviour at a Police Authority Community meeting held at Mount Carmel High School, Accrington.
Neighbourhood Watch Scheme pioneer Mr Cowell made his suggestion after a shopkeeper claimed he was being harassed by a gang of youths.
But the meeting was told by youth manager Barry Emmett that young people had a lot to offer society and should be given more opportunities to help take them off the streets.
Hyndburn Youth Service District Manager Mr Emmett spoke after a resident raised the case of 15-year-old Aaron Stoddard, who was made the subject of an interim Anti Social Behaviour Order two weeks ago.
He said: "We have programmes in place where we work with young people to make them more understanding about living in a residential area. We're looking at ways of bringing youth shelters into areas, play areas and half pipes for young people to use."
He revealed the council's environment portfolio holder Councillor David Myles was keen to get them up and running.
Mr Emmett said the youth shelters cost between £10,000 and £12,000, adding: "Once the young people get them they do use them and value them. We have found that last year we saved around £18,000 on vandalism by working with young people in a positive way. Young people need things to do because when you speak to them and get to know them you find they are valuable members of society."
Chief Inspector Tracy O'Gara described ASBOs as a last resort and JP David Keeley said: "When one of the youths subjected to an order becomes isolated it becomes difficult for other youths to associate with them as they may end up being isolated in the same way."
Spring Hill councillor Edith Dunston said it took a great deal of co-operation between residents and the police to get the ASBO. "It's not a simple thing as we need to get the evidence," she said.