My child has been accused of a crime

Every parent dreads their teenager being accused of a crime or anti-social behaviour. If this happens, how can you stand by them and support them in a way that can turn things around for the future? What positive action can you take?

Supporting your child and being in solidarity with them is a parental responsibility, however, it’s understandable that the thought of ‘throwing in the towel’ may cross your mind. A lot of attention goes towards the young person but parents also need support when their teenager gets into serious trouble.

What you can do

  • When your child is involved in a crime, there can be a seesaw of blame and shame. Try not to dwell on the negative and focus on how positive action can turn the situation around.
  • Try to keep communication open and honest between you and your teenager and think together about positive activities they’d like to do, such as sports, hobbies or learning new skills to avoid anything similar happening again.
  • Parents working together have the most success in helping to transform their teenager’s behaviour, but if you’re a lone parent try to build a support network of family and friends to help you too.
  • Good friends, colleagues and other parents can be a source of understanding and some will have solid practical advice. Try to build up a support network of people around you.
  • Chat with one of our counsellors.

For information about any implications for parents if your child gets in trouble with the police - see's guidance

Anti-social behaviour and ASBOs

Anti-social behaviour is behaviour that is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to a person from a different household. A crime will be prosecuted in a court of law, but some anti-social behaviour is dealt with by an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO). ASBOs are given by a civil rather than a criminal court, but they’re still issued by the police and/or local authority and can be given to anyone over the age of 10 if they behave antisocially. 

Behaving antisocially includes:

  • drunken or threatening behaviour
  • vandalism and graffiti
  • playing loud music at night

Getting an ASBO means your teen won’t be allowed to do certain things, such as:

  • going to a particular place, e.g. their local town centre
  • spending time with people who are known as trouble-makers
  • drinking in the street

An ASBO will last for at least 2 years. It could be reviewed if their behaviour improves.

Find our more about ASBOs on

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