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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

June 29, 2005: Doubling of ASBOs "Deeply Worrying"

The Home Office today announced measures to help to continue tackling what it labelled “the anti-social behaviour that blights the lives of thousands of people across the country”.

At the same time, the Home Office also published figures showing vigorous take-up of  Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) by local authorities, police and housing associations.

Statistics for the period April 1999 to December 2004 show that the total number of ASBOs issued (as reported to the Home Office) stood at 4649 at December last year. Of these, 786 were issued between October and December, an increase of just over double the number issued in the same quarter last year. Courts have refused only 1 per cent of all ASBO applications.

New ASBO statistics for the period April 1999 to December 2004 can be downloaded from the government Crime Reduction website.

Responding to the figures showing this dramatic increase in ASBOs, Harry Fletcher, Assistant General Secretary of probation union Napo, said:

“The Home Office should be reviewing the use of ASBOs, not increasing local authority powers. There is now overwhelming evidence that ASBOs are being used inappropriately in many parts of the country. Some local authorities are using the powers to drive off the streets anybody whose behaviour is eccentric, undesirable or a nuisance. ASBOs are being used against people who are mentally ill, against children with autism and on individuals like beggars and prostitutes, whose behaviour is not criminal. The doubling of the number of ASBOs made is deeply worrying and a sign of an increasing intolerance of individuals who are different in this country.

From 1 July, provisions from the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 will give vulnerable witnesses in anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) cases the protection and support they need in court. New ‘special measures’ can include screens in court, video links to enable the witness to give evidence outside the courtroom, and the use of intermediaries when communicating with the police. There will also be the lifting of automatic reporting restrictions to allow the local media to give details of those who breach their ASBOs.

The Home Office also announced that funding for Individual Support Orders (ISOs) for young people between the ages of 10 and 17 years of age will be increased by £500,000. ISOs can be attached to an ASBO and direct the young person to activities and support to address the underlying causes of their anti-social behaviour. This can include anger management courses, and alcohol and drug misuse programmes.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said:

“Anti-social behaviour is a menace for many people and it needs to be dealt with swiftly and effectively. ASBOs make a real difference to people’s lives by helping to rebuild confidence in communities and bringing the actions of a selfish minority to task. The statistics published today show that local authorities are responding enthusiastically to the powers available to them..."

" ASBOs are just one of a whole range of tools that are available aimed at improving and modifying anti-social behaviour, along with staged warnings, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs), fixed penalty notices and parenting contracts. Individual Support Orders (ISOs) can be attached to ASBOs for 10-17 year-olds and are a positive means of addressing the underlying causes of unacceptable and damaging behaviour. "