Thursday, October 28, 2004

ASBOs in the eye of the beholders

Recommended reading for Mr Blunkett: The BBC asks readers, "Do anti-social behaviour orders work?" and, for once, gets a pretty consistent stretch of answers...

Update: Also worth checking out is the Q & A session with Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty. She deals quite calmly and sensibly with some of the issues and opinions for and against ASBOs, for example:

"My family has suffered for 18 months from young youths who have threatened to damage my property and shout verbal abuse. I believe that more power should be given to the police and courts. Do you agree? (Keith Bennett)

"When there are serious problems of crime and what’s now being called anti-social behaviour, the easiest thing for a Home Secretary to do is to say, I’m going to tackle this by creating more powers by legislating again and that is why we’ve had 30 criminal justice Bills in the last 10 years.

I’m afraid that the tough truth is that more and more criminal offences, wider and wider police powers do not in themselves solve deep-seated problems of crime and anti-social behaviour. You can solve perhaps a bit more by having more financial resources to put into policing and also to put into tackling the causes of crime, like high unemployment in certain areas, drug addiction, poor housing and so on. But just legislating is the cheapest thing in the world, the easiest thing in the world and it doesn’t necessarily always do any real good.

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