“They were really chaotic and in the middle of it all we learned the nine-year-old had a drink problem. To see someone this young with an alcohol dependency is extremely sad.”

The family - a mum and three children – were placed on restorative justice programmes. The boy and his siblings were made to listen to their victims and give something back to the community. Their mum was sent on parenting courses and given counselling.

And the turnaround was so ­astonishing that neighbours in Hove, East Sussex, who once lived in fear of them wrote letters praising their determination to make something of their lives. Mr Jordan said: “This was a long process where all the services worked together closely, addressing their many ­problems. It took 18 months.

“To resolve this case by helping the family, rather than demonising them, shows we are making a difference.”

The boy has now quit drinking and his family have been taken off the anti-social behaviour team’s books.

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