Home Office rejects Asbo concerns

A Home Office official has challenged campaigners’ allegations that large numbers of people are wrongly being given antisocial behaviour orders.

Bill Pitt, a member of the department’s Respect task force, told delegates at Community Care LIVE that he had examined several cases where professionals had said Asbos had been given incorrectly to their clients but had found this to be wrong in every instance.

 “It’s not simply that a police officer who finds someone badly behaving issues an Asbo,” he said. “There is a judicial process. If there is somebody here who feels that Asbos are thrown around like confetti, then I have to say that is nonsense.”

He said there was an impression among the public that multi-agency meetings about perpetrators had only a cursory effect on the individual’s behaviour towards people living near them.

“The public thinks that 99.9 per cent of the work that is being done does not meet the needs of the community,” he said.

Pitt also said that acceptable behaviour contracts were being given out when Asbos should have been issued.

“The idea that a behaviour contract is part of a sequence that works up towards Asbos is wrong,” he said. “People need to think ‘what is the action that is most appropriate to help the community?’.”

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