ASBOs putting yobs on notice, says Blair

The increasing use of anti-yob powers are putting louts "on notice" that the government means to tackle the scourge of anti-social behaviour, the Prime Minister has said.

Speaking on a visit to an estate in Harlow, Essex, which has had problems with anti-social behaviour, Mr Blair said that there remained much to do but police and councils are using the new powers.

"Anti-social behaviour can ruin neighbourhoods and make life a misery for decent, hard-working families. That is why we have given local communities the powers they need to enforce respect on the streets," he said.

"ASBOs, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, Fixed Penalty Notices, dispersal orders, closing crack houses, controlling fireworks, clamping down on graffiti and litter - they can help those that play by the rules beat those that don't. But we must use them."

New Home Office figures show that the number of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) issued across England and Wales has more than doubled since March last year.

More than 2,400 ASBOs have been issued across England and Wales since they were introduced in 1999 with 1,323 taken out in the year to March 2004.

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are civil orders made by a court and used to protect the public from behaviour that causes harassment, alarm and distress. They were introduced in 1998 and streamlined to make them easier to use in 2002-3.


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