Frequently, there are depressing media stories that parents of antisocial children are indifferent to their antisocial behaviour and even insult people who complain to them. This makes it difficult for the gardai to deal with the antisocial behaviour when it falls short of criminal activity. But even when it amounts to petty criminal activity,the gardai and the courts usually are reluctant to take actions that could lead to incarceration of teenage culprits for fear of turning them into hardened criminals.
What to do? The gardai could be given wide discretion to apply small fines for antisocial behaviour to the parent or parents of the offending children for petty criminal activity.According to economic theory,when something is taxed,you get less of it,so fines could substitute here as a tax.Fines need to be small assuming the culprits come predominantly from single mother social welfare families,as little as €10 for a first offence,with a limit on the number of fines in a given year of maybe ten,or a few hundred euro,to prevent potential abuse of garda discretion. To prevent the courts from being clogged up by appeals of fines,the fine on appeals would have to be set at a high minimum,say €100, to deter nuisance appeals and waste of gardai time.