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Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many anti-social behaviour orders were issued against (a) persons aged under 16, (b) persons aged 17 to 18, (c) persons aged 19 to 25 and (d) persons aged over 25 years in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006 and (iii) 2007, broken down by police force area; and how many such orders have been breached; (203255)

(2) what recent estimate she has made of the rate of breach of anti-social behaviour orders;

(3) what recent estimate she has made of the extent to which anti-social behaviour orders are issued to persons with a diagnosed mental illness.

The latest available information on the number of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) is up to 31 December 2006 and was published on 8 May.

ASBO data are available broken down by age group 10-17 and adults aged 18 and over, year of issue and Criminal Justice System (CJS) area level. CJS areas are coterminous with police force areas and the information is shown in table 1 placed in the House Library. The number of ASBOs breached for the first time in each year is shown in table 3 placed in the House Library.

The Home Affairs Select Committee Report on Anti-Social Behaviour (2004-05) found that inappropriate issuing of ASBOs, for example to people with mental health problems, is not a major problem in practice. Legislation allows the terms of an ASBO to be varied or for the order itself to be discharged if circumstances warrant it.

Home Office published material and training events stress the need for a staged and incremental approach to tackling antisocial behaviour and for specialist professionals to be involved in an assessment of people who have special needs. This advice is available to all antisocial behaviour practitioners, including those practitioners working in social services, in the form of a website, an extensive range of leaflets and the Respect Actionline, which provides professional advice by telephone.

We monitor the overall use of ASBOs on an ongoing basis and adjust policy in response. For example we recently made changes to the ASBO legislation in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 that juveniles’ ASBOs should be reviewed after one year. We will continue to build on and extend existing ASBO legislation as appropriate.