Campaigners have warned that the Home Office’s forthcoming
anti-social behaviour unit must not focus on punishing young
offenders without helping them address their behaviour.
Anita Dockley, assistant director of the Howard League for Penal
Reform, said she was concerned that the unit, to be launched in the
new year, would push children in need into the criminal justice
Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said that she did
not want the unit to punish those who commit antisocial behaviour
without looking at long-term outcomes.
“The unit faces a set of complex problems and we hope it comes up
with complex solutions, which must involve young people taking
responsibility for their actions to tackle the problem,” Lyon
The unit is due to start next year and will be headed by Louise
Casey, currently the director of the government’s homelessness
Casey said she wanted to work in partnership with local communities
to address issues surrounding antisocial behaviour.
A Home Office spokesperson said the Anti-social Behaviour Bill
promised in the Queen’s speech was due to be published by February