Crime and Disorder Act

In February 2001, Medway magistrates granted ASBOs against a group of children accused of -a catalogue of unacceptable behaviour, including causing damage, theft, intimidation, threats, swearing and even an alleged arson attack. The children were banned from engaging in any conduct which causes or is likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to shopkeepers, their employees or customers in Gillingham High Street . One of the shopkeepers said:-"They spit at people in the street and scream abuse. It's very unpleasant.

They try and get on the bikes we have outside, try to steal them, or come in the shop and try to steal things from there. These kids are constantly being arrested but they know they can't really be touched because of their age. This time, they can be held accountable. " One of the officers said:-"This is an example of both the public and statutory agencies working together to address anti-social behaviour. The good thing is that because it was a civil case, the youngsters can be identified, which we hope will serve as a naming and shaming exercise in the community.

" Twelve months later, the 13-year-olds were found to be in breach of the orders, and were publicly named. They had been caught on CCTV egging on a riot. Sentence was adjourned and, according to the Times -The three can expect to be given the maximum sentence of five years in young offenders' institution for breaching the order when they are sentenced in three weeks' time 8. I have also used extracts from 'Evening Star's' articles which capture the human impact of anti-social behaviour, given testimony to the problems that a minority can bring to the many.

These stories underpin the determination to safeguard communities and to enable local people to live and work free from fear and harassment. This is a selection of quotes from locals in various communities showing the impact of anti-social behaviour has had on individuals, families, whole communities and how they had dealt with the perpetrators. The response as you can see was overwhelming. This paper is too short to share all the quotes but these examples alone illustrate the challenges faced and the difference ASBO' make9. "Last year our area was awash with drug dealing problems and related anti-social behaviour.

The success of obtaining ASBOs has led to our neighbourhood being transformed into a relatively quiet area. " D. Johnson, Alderburgh. "… fear of crime, staff morale, public perceptions of the area, volume of calls for police assistance and problems affecting local business have all been addressed by an ASBO" M. Gooding, Halesworth. "The power of arrest attached to an injunction is a very effective measure for protecting witnesses as it gives the police the ability to remove the perpetrator from the community as soon as nuisance begins, rather than allowing it to escalate" S.

Williams, Ipswich. "Some residents had got to the point where they would not leave their homes alone and were afraid to go out. " J. Johnson, Suffolk. The local police "Residents don't care who is responsible for removing fly tipped rubbish or abandoned cars, they just want it gone. With all agencies working together we responded with a blitz to remove everything in one go. We hope high profile action will encourage the community to take pride in their area, keeping it clean, tidy and safe .

Taking ASBOs out on the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour has demonstrated to the community that action can and will be taken. The key to success has been the commitment, innovation and determination of local partners to support the victims and witnesses. " Conclusion The argument that it costs around i?? 5000 to implement a single ASBO can be dismissed in the fact that it probably costs a lot more under the old system, where justice wasn't administered quickly or sufficiently enough, so individual and society's hardship continued.

I believe that we must be prepared to invest short term in order to see the benefits for generations to come. David Blankett cemented the government's and my view that far from undermining the Criminal Law the new procedures aimed at ASBO are working together. As the Queen gave the Royal Assent to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 in which ASBO powers have been extended10, he concluded "The Criminal Justice Act is about protecting the public and protecting the standing and credibility of our justice system.

The aims of our Criminal Justice System are a) To reduce crime and their social and economic costs b) To dispense justice fairly and efficiently and to promote confidence in the rule of law12 now lets consider exactly how ASBO's integrate with that-by summarising their purpose to be: a) swift administration of justice b) ensure that young people face up to the consequences of their offending c)ensuring the risk factors associated with offending are addressed in any intervention d)punishment proportionate to the seriousness and frequency of offending e) encouraging reparation by young offenders to their victims f) reinforcing parental responsibility.

Therefore I conclude that not only do ASBO's cover the same principles and use the same procedures as Criminal law, but they are furthermore essential and underpinning. 1634 Bibliography Clarkson and Keating "Criminal Law Text and Materials" Sweet and Maxwell, London, 2003 D. Garland, "Punishment and Modern Society", Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1990, p282. Leng, Taylor and Wasik "Blackstones Guide to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998" Chapter 1 Starmer, Strange and Whitaker "Criminal Justice, Police Powers and Human Rights" Blackstones, London, 2001 Sanders and Young "Criminal Justice 2nd edition" Butterworths, London, 2000