Asbo ‘poor guide’ to behaviour outcomes

The government should not measure councils’ success in tackling antisocial behaviour by the number of antisocial behaviour orders they issue, according to a lead councillor at the authority that has handed out the fewest Asbos.

Mary Douglas, cabinet member for adult care at Wiltshire Council, which has issued only 32 Asbos since they were introduced in 1999, said the government should create a “more sophisticated tool” to measure performance in tackling antisocial behaviour.

Prime minister Tony Blair called last week for an end to a “postcode lottery” in the way councils tackled antisocial behaviour, but Douglas said Wiltshire’s experience showed that Asbos should be a “tiny part” of the solution.

“Use of other measures such as acceptable behaviour contracts are a far more positive way of dealing with antisocial behaviour,” she said.

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