Many children with mental health problems subjected to Asbos

More than third of children aged under 17 issued with antisocial behaviour orders have a diagnosed mental illness or learning difficulty, a new study claims.

More than four-fifths of those children had previously been on Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, finds the survey of youth offending teams by the British Institute for Brain Injured Children, but three-quarters of that group failed to meet the conditions of the contracts.

It says the majority of children with Asbos have attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while others suffer from depression-related behavioural difficulties, conduct disorders and Tourette syndrome.

The findings emerged as the government’s latest figures showed that 5,557 Asbos were issued from April 1999 to March this year.

The numbers rose by 897 from January to March alone, and almost half were issued to young people.

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