The Big Question

Joan Scott – Inspired Services
There is a problem that if you don’t stop the behaviour early on, kids can go on to do worse. So you should do something to scare kids in the hope that they might stop it. But baby Asbos for under-10s is too harsh. There is a danger of the courts going too far. Mind you, if Asbos had been around for some of my kids, that might have stopped a lot of trouble!

Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic sons
Under 10, a sense of right and wrong is still developing.  Valuing an ethos of caring in schools could help curb aggression between many children. Given the right level of support and well thought out environments, the same children who lash out can be the most social and inspirational children in our communities.

Shaun Webster – Change self advocacy group
Kids are pests when they stop out late, swearing at people and kicking footballs into gardens. But Asbos are a bit heavy-handed. It’s treating kids like adults, probably before they’ve understood what an Asbo is. They should impose an 8pm curfew on under-10s – they would understand what a curfew is a lot better.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
Baby Asbos are not a good idea. What has happened to the principle that very young children are not fully responsible for their crimes? Asbos would stigmatise children far beyond the lifetime of the Asbo itself and reinforce the idea in the child’s mind that “society” has rejected it. I am appalled that any government could contemplate such a thing.

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