Thursday, October 28, 2004

New 'yob' targets to be unveiled

According to the BBC, the Home Office is pressing forwards with its widespread, "tough-on-crime, tough-on-10-year-old-kids" ASBO plans around the country, bringing in specialised experts as promised.

But do they really work at all? Or are we just trying to get our population to behave through heavy-handed threat of incarceration and violence?

Minister Hazel Blears also revealed this week that "about a third" of Asbos were breached - with some people jailed and others not. (And how come this appears as the last 2 lines in the BBC article? Aren't statistics like this important any more?)

BBC Magazine highlight some of the more original uses for ASBOs so far, confirming the question: Are we merely using draconian legal measures to replace our lack of social cohesion and our ability to raise the next generation sensibly?

Or, to put it another way, are we now so isolated from each other that our only recourse is a political+enforcement one? Are we no longer in a position to recognise, deal with and prevent the very real problems arising directly around us? If so, why not? If the factors that traditionally stop us from tearing each other apart are failing, what's to say that ASBOs are a decent, long-term solution?

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