The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Death knell tolls for ASBOs

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During a speech in south London yesterday, Home Secretary Theresa May said it was "time to move beyond the ASBO" in favour of criminal sanctions that are "rehabilitating and restorative rather than criminalising and coercive".

She criticised the "ludicrous list" of ASBO sanctions currently in use, which include the ISO [individual support order], the ASBI [anti-social behaviour injunction], the ASBO [anti-social behaviour order], the CRASBO [criminal anti-social behaviour order], crack house closure orders, dog control orders, litter and noise abatement orders, housing injunctions and parenting orders.

May said: "These sanctions are too complex and bureaucratic. There are too many of them, they are too time consuming and expensive, and they too often criminalise young people unnecessarily, acting as a conveyor belt to serious crime and prison.

"Just this morning, the latest ASBO statistics have shown that breach rates have yet again increased - more than half are breached at least once; 40% are breached more than once - and their use has fallen yet again, to the lowest ever level," she added.

16,999 ASBOs have been issued since they were introduced in April 1999, of which 9,247 have been breached. The highest number of ASBOs issued in one year was 2005, when 4,122 were issued. The most recent statistics available show that in 2008 only 2,027 ASBOs were issued; of which, 1,266 have been breached.

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