Yot managers demand shorter Asbos for under-18s

Youth offending team managers are set to put pressure on MPs and
peers to abolish the minimum length of antisocial behaviour orders
for under-18s.

The Association of Yot Managers unanimously agreed at their
annual meeting last week to lobby in Parliament for an end to the
requirement that all Asbos last a minimum of two years,
irrespective of an offender’s age.

Speaking to 0-19 after the meeting, association chair
Pauline Batstone said: “Children change so quickly, and two
years is such a long time.

“For some young people, the shock of the order can be
enough to cause change. What we don’t want is for young
people to be labelled as having an Asbo then having problems
finding employment later on. We don’t want them to be further

Batstone said that, if a total abolition was unachievable, a
reduction in the minimum length to three months would still be a
vast improvement on the current situation and would bring Asbos in
line with other community penalties.

Reducing the length of Asbos would result in fewer breaches and
therefore fewer young people in custody, she added.

The Yot managers also agreed unanimously to lobby MPs and peers
over changes to current arrangements for dealing with young people
who are convicted of an offence listed under Schedule 1 of the
Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

Batstone said that, under existing rules, a child could end up
on the Schedule 1 Offenders List for the rest of their life for
hitting another child in a playground.

The association wants only children and young people who present
a significant and continuing risk to other children and young
people to be placed on a register, and for registration
arrangements to be subject to regular review.



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