May axes the ‘badge of honour’ Asbo in shake-up of laws


Labour’s Asbo policy  was finally axed yesterday after thugs racked up an astonishing 52,000 breaches in a decade.

Home Secretary Theresa May lit a bonfire of the last government’s anti-social behaviour laws, replacing 19 powers with only six.

Critics say Asbos have become a ‘badge of honour’, with youngsters on tough estates deliberately seeking to be served with one of the orders.

Revamp: Home Secretary Theresa May lit a bonfire of the last government¿s anti-social behaviour lawsRevamp: Home Secretary Theresa May lit a bonfire of the last government¿s anti-social behaviour laws

Of the 20,231 Asbos issued between June 1, 2000 and the end of 2010, more than half – 11,432 – were breached at least once.

In total there were 51,976 separate breaches of Asbos – an average of 4.5 for each offender.

Instead, yobs will be given new crime prevention injunctions (CPIs), which require a lower burden of proof.

Those who breach the orders will face penalties including prison sentences.

Separately, offenders sentenced for a crime by the courts could be handed a new criminal behaviour order, forcing them to change their ways.

It will ban criminals from engaging in specified activities or going to certain places.

There will also be a ‘community trigger’ to force the  police, councils and other agencies to act if five households complain, or the same individual complains three times, and faster processes to evict anti-social tenants and deal with irresponsible dog owners.

As the Mail revealed yesterday, a new Community Protection Notice will make it a criminal offence for people to dump litter regularly in their own garden.

Mrs May said the Government’s approach ‘empowers local communities, places victims’ needs at its heart and puts more trust in the professionals than ever before’.

She added: ‘Police and local agencies will also be freed to use informal measures to take immediate action to nip problems in the bud rather than being bound by central targets and control.’

Labour attacked the new injunctions as ‘weak’ because a breach of the civil order will ‘no longer be a criminal offence’.

Climbdown: Ed Miliband has admitted Asbos are 'not perfect' as the coalition announce a new policyClimbdown: Ed Miliband has admitted Asbos are ‘not perfect’ as the coalition announce a new policy

Labour leader Ed Miliband admitted Asbos – the flagship anti-lout policy of Tony Blair – were ‘not perfect’.

But he claimed: ‘They were making a difference to communities. If there’s a weakening going on then I think it’s the wrong thing to do.’

Mrs May’s proposals will initially be published as a draft Bill, to be debated by MPs. This means they are unlikely to become law before the end of next year at the earliest.

Opponents have claimed the laws have been delayed by disputes between the Coalition partners, with the Lib Dems insisting care must be taken not to unnecessarily criminalise young people.

Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said: ‘Victims deserve to be taken seriously as soon as they make a report to the police. Waiting until a similar incident has been reported three times or by five people is not good enough.’

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