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Antisocial Behaviour

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Firearms Consultative Committee on Clauses 42 to 44 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [115972]

The Chairman of the Firearms Consultative Committee wrote to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 28 April supporting the introduction of clause 42 but expressing some reservations, which not all members shared, about the proposed changes in the age limits for the unsupervised use of air weapons by people under 17 years old as set out in clause 43. The Committee were also concerned that the order-making power proposed in clause 44 for dealing with weapons that use the air cartridge system was too widely drawn and that compensation should be paid to existing owners if a ban was introduced. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evaluation has been made of the effectiveness and ease of implementation of anti-social behaviour (a) order and (b) contracts; what advice he is giving to (i) local councils and (ii) the police on the merits and drawbacks of each; and if he will make a statement. [117334]

Legislative changes were introduced by the Police Reform Act 2002 to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in response to problems identified by the Home Office review of ASBOs published in April 2002. These changes were accompanied by Home Office guidance on both ASBOs and Anti-Social Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) which was distributed to local authorities and police in November 2002.Further feedback from practitioners since the implementation of these measures has informed the proposed changes to ASBOs in the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill.The Anti-Social Behaviour Unit is continuing to work with practitioners across the country to spread good practice in using the available tools, including ASBOs and ABCs, to tackle anti-social behaviour.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department will take to ensure that the Government's proposed pilot for extending fixed penalty fines for antisocial behaviour to 16 and 17-year-olds does not (a) breach Article 27 UN CRC, and (b) adversely affect its targets on reducing the level of child poverty; and if he will make a statement. [117795]

The pilots are intended to deal with antisocial behaviour by young people in an appropriate way without recourse to the full criminal justice process. This is in the interests both of society in general and of the young people themselves. We will however, consider how to evaluate the direct and any indirect effects of the scheme.