In the UK there is currently a lot of political and media attention on what has become known as anti-social behaviour (ASB). Concerns about ASB appear to be higher in deprived and/or urban areas. In particular, people living in London are more likely to suffer from ASB. There is undoubtedly real ASB in London; however, this article argues that people will have different expectations of urban living and use of public spaces, resulting in contested notions or tolerances of what is acceptable or anti-social behaviour. This has implications for people’s acceptance of difference or ‘otherness’. With this in mind, evidence is drawn from 10 focus groups with minority and marginalised Londoners. The article argues that our beliefs and expectations of urban living need to be challenged as this is what urban living is all about. Similarly, we should take on board the focus group participants’ assertion that all can be anti-social – rather than focusing on certain groups that ‘don’t fit in’ and entrenching their social exclusion.
Young People and Youth Justice