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Antisocial Behaviour

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the funding given to participating local authorities will be (a) ring fenced and (b) via reimbursement for specific expenditure, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 28 February 2007, Official Report, column 1351W, on anti-social behaviour. (128664)

I have been asked to reply.

This question refers to the Department for Education and Skills grant of up to £125,000, that can be accessed by 40 Respect areas and seven London boroughs. The purpose of the grant is to help improve and strengthen the delivery of parenting support in those areas, especially around the prevention and tackling of antisocial behaviour. The funding to these local authorities is non ring-fenced.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will seek legal advice on the compatibility of the ultrasonic antisocial behaviour deterrent device with (a) Article 3 and (b) Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and if he will make a statement; (134369)

(2) if he will require police forces to notify him of their purchase of ultrasonic antisocial behaviour deterrent devices;

(3) if he will issue guidelines to police forces on the use of the ultrasonic antisocial behaviour deterrent device Mosquito.

The Home Office encourages local agencies to consider the full range of innovations, schemes and practices intended to reduce crime, the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour. It is for local agencies like the police and local authorities to decide on the most appropriate interventions to tackle antisocial behaviour based on their knowledge of what works best locally. We do encourage agencies to adopt a tiered approach with a blend of measures to provide a proportionate response. The Home Office does not promote or recommend any particular commercial product or venture above this, and as such has not sought legal advice on this device.

The Home Office has not produced guidance for police and local authorities on the use of the mosquito device, and has no plans to require the police to notify the Secretary of State if and when such a device is purchased.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances criminal antisocial behaviour orders are issued; in what ways they are different from antisocial behavioural orders; and what assessment he has made of the impact of each type of order on changing behaviour in young people. (135070)

Antisocial behaviour orders on conviction were introduced by the Police Reform Act 2002 to allow the courts to deal with the antisocial behaviour of a convicted individual in an effective and timely manner by removing the need for a separate application to be made on complaint to the magistrates court. The order is in addition to the criminal sentence and is considered separately from the criminal part of the proceedings.

An order on conviction has the same effect as an antisocial behaviour order and lasts a minimum of two years. Breach of the terms of the order is a criminal offence, whether the order was obtained on conviction or by way of a stand alone application.

The effectiveness of the Government’s antisocial behaviour policies has been assessed in two key independent reports published last year, by the National Audit Office and by the Youth Justice Board. Both confirmed that our twin track approach of support and enforcement is effective in protecting communities from antisocial behaviour. This is bringing results—nationally, the percentage of people who perceive high levels of antisocial behaviour has fallen from 21 per cent. in 2002-03 to 17 per cent. in 2005-06.

We are due to commission an evaluation of various interventions (including ASBOs) designed to tackle antisocial behaviour. This proposed research is likely to explore what impact these interventions can have on tackling antisocial behaviour problems.