22/05/2012

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders To Be Scrapped

Controversial ASBOs are to be scrapped in an overhaul of the legal system used for tackling anti-social behaviour.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the ASBOs (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders) which she criticised as "too bureaucratic" and which came to be seen as a "badge of honour" within some gangs, would be cut under proposals in the government’s current White Paper.

She said the reforms, which would affect England and Wales, would "make powers simpler, quicker, easier to enforce, more flexible and more effective."

She told the Association of Chief Police Officers’ annual conference that the approach "empowers local communities, places victims' needs at its heart and puts more trust in the professionals than ever before."

But Labour, which introduced Asbos under Tony Blair in the late 1990s, responded by saying the new measures were a "weaker rebrand" of powers to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The government is proposing to introduce a "community trigger" which would force the police, councils and other agencies to act if five households complain, as well as Crime Prevention Injunctions or civil orders designed to protect victims from vandalism or mobs at short notice, and measures making it faster to evict anti-social tenants.

Mrs May said: "We're going to look at enabling the community or individuals... to say to the police or local authority 'excuse me, you've got to do something'. For most people, if they report something once, then they want something done about it - but it's about getting the balance right."

(NE)

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