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Tale of Two Cities: Young People, Anti-Social Behaviour and Localised Public Opinion

NCJ Number
Crime Prevention & Community Safety Volume: 13 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2011 Pages: 153-170
Stephen Case; Tom Ellis; Kevin Haines; Carol Hayden; Karen Shalev; Andrea Shawyer
Date Published
August 2011
18 pages
This article examines public perceptions of youth anti-social behavior (ASB) conducted in Portsmouth and Swansea UK.
Public opinion surveys largely neglect the ambiguity of 'anti-social behavior', the complexity and nuances of public opinion and the utility of specifically youth-focused, localized research. This article sets out to address these issues through a comparative public opinion survey of experiences and perceptions of youth ASB conducted in Portsmouth and Swansea. Findings indicate ambivalence in public opinion in both localities both in relation to their own responses to particular behaviors and in the type of system response favored. Differences were noted by age and gender. A significantly lower proportion of the public were bothered by youth ASB than had experienced these behaviors, alongside ambivalent policy/practice recommendations, ranging from punitive/reactionary (males, older people) to the constructive/promotional (females, younger people). (Published Abstract)