‘Guidance deterred take-up of orders’

The government admitted last week that confusing Home Office
guidance for antisocial behaviour orders could have contributed to
their low take-up.

Before resigning as Home Office minister, John Denham told
Community Care: “There is no doubt that the guidance the
Home Office itself issued originally was unnecessarily complex and
in some places quite confusing.”

He said: “It has also taken time for magistrates and court clerks
to develop a full understanding of Asbos.” But he added that “those
problems are largely behind us”.

The Home Office has always defended the low take-up of the orders
saying that the figure of 5,000 Asbos referred to in financial
costings was never an official target. In fact, 653 orders were
issued in England and Wales between April 1999 and June 2002.

The Home Office introduced measures to make Asbos more effective in
the antisocial behaviour white paper published recently. 

– John Denham’s full interview at www.communitycare.co.uk

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