Social services, children’s mental health services and youth
organisations are failing to commit to antisocial behaviour
strategies, MPs said this week.
In the final report on its inquiry into antisocial behaviour, the
home affairs select committee accused local authorities and
children’s organisations of neglecting the “best interests” of
Committee chair John Denham said: “Our concern is that some
organisations are rejecting the current antisocial behaviour
strategy as too punitive, but foregoing the chance to influence how
this strategy is carried out at a local level.”
The report suggests amending performance regimes for councils to
reward partnership working in tackling antisocial behaviour.
But it also raises concerns over “complex” funding streams. It says
resources are not targeted at those most in need of support and
calls on the government to review funding mechanisms and provide
more money for youth inclusion schemes.
The report also recommends reducing the two-year minimum length of
Asbos for under-18s by giving magistrates “greater discretion” to
set the duration.
The committee urges the government to commission research into the
extent to which Asbos and evictions are used “inappropriately” and
criticises the Home Office for failing to monitor the impact of
antisocial behaviour legislation on homelessness.
The committee also recommends that youth offending teams be
consulted “as a matter of course” before an application for an Asbo
The report coincides with the publication of Youth Justice Board
guidance which recommends that Yots “should contribute to every
decision” concerning young people.
- Children’s campaigners expressed concern this week that
automatic reporting restrictions on youth courts for Asbo breaches
could be lifted under measures in the Serious Organised Crime and
Police Bill due to be rushed through the House of Lords this week
after the prime minister called a general election.
- Report from www.parliament.uk and guidance from www.youth-justice-board.gov.uk