Children as young as ten in the West Midlands could be handed on-the-spot fines of up to £40 if they commit yobbish behaviour.
The proposed Home Office scheme could be piloted in the West Midlands and six other regions as early as next month. It aims to reduce "nuisance" crimes such as vandalism, neighbour harassment and littering, and cut down the paperwork and time needed to issued Anti-social behaviour orders.
Police will take the fingerprints and DNA of ten to 15-year-olds and then serve them with penalty notices in front of their parents, The Sunday Times said yesterday.
The youngsters will be asked for a proof of identity and to sign an acknowledgement receipt of their penalty notice. This will not count as a criminal conviction.
Parents will be legally liable to pay the fines and those who refuse will have the money deducted from their earnings or benefits. If they are determined not to pay, their household assets will be seized and they could face jail.
However, critics have questioned how easy it will be to make youngsters pay fines when 30 per cent of adults ignore their own penalties for anti-social behaviour.
There may also be difficulties in issuing the penalty notices because Home Office guidelines advise that notices should only be issued if "the suspect is compliant."
The initiative should have started in January, but there were said to be problems with the printing of the tickets.
Meriden MP Caroline Spelman (Con) has told the House of Commons she is scared to allow her 14-year-old daughter into Birmingham city centre at night.
MP Steve McCabe (Lab Hall Green) has said courts should hand out tougher sentences to youths prosecuted for anti-social behaviour and wear 'hoodies' to hide their faces.