Discuss the Strengths & Weaknesses of Anti – Social Behaviour Orders

Essay by tygrelillyUniversity, Bachelor's October 2008

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For the 10 years that the Labour government has been in power, it has strived to reduce crime all over the UK. One of the main targets of the Labour Party was the rising number of Anti -Social incidents reported to the police every day. In order to combat this growing phenomenon that is today's 'Youth Culture', the ASBO was created. The ASBO - or Anti Social Behaviour Order, to quote its official name - is a civil order made against a person who has been shown to have participated or initiated in anti social behaviour. This is defined as "conduct which caused or was likely to cause alarm, harassment, or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as him or herself and where an ASBO is seen as necessary to protect relevant persons from further anti-social acts by the Defendant" (UK Crime and Disorder Act 1998).

To request to issue a person with an ASBO, numerous warnings must be given to the individual, and if no progress is made a further request must be made at a Magistrates Court. The Labour government introduced the ASBO in 1998 after pressure from the general public to tackle crime issues. This led to the Crime & Disorder Act of 1998, and ensured that ASBOS's first enforced on the 1st April 1999. (BBC News - 20/03/2002).

The ASBO was originally intended for use with adults, however with the rise of youth crime, it was necessary to broaden its range to children from the age of 10 and above. If a person is seen to be breaching their ASBO, it can often result in a custodial sentence from 6 months to 5 years; however the maximum sentence for young adults 15-18 years is 6 months. (Neighbours from Hell -...