PROPOSED changes to Asbo legislation have been cautiously welcomed by Scarborough’s crime reduction and anti-social behaviour coordinator.
Yesterday Home Secretary Theresa May unveiled the plans in a white paper where police and local authorities will be given six new streamlined powers aimed at dealing with anti-social behaviour more quickly and effectively.
But Barry Graham, of Scarborough Safer Communities Partnership, said it was difficult to comment on the white paper at this early stage but he fully supported proposals contained in an earlier consultation document.
He said: “If the measures that were outlined in a consultation document in 2011 are contained in the white paper then I think local authorities and police will find them easier to work with than the existing anti-social behaviour legislation.”
Asbos were originally introduced under the Labour Government and were aimed at banning an individual from certain behaviour or particular places.
The main criticisms were that they did not work and were viewed as a badge of honour by some – official figures have shown that more than half of the orders were breached by an average of four times.
Yesterday’s white paper is proposing to replace the Asbo and six related orders, such as Drink Banning Orders, will be replaced with two – the Criminal Behaviour Order and a Crime Prevention Injunction – with the new injunctions imposed at a lower standard of proof than Asbos.
Under the proposals when three or more people register a complaint – or a single person raises an issue five times – police will have to respond within 24 hours. People who are unhappy with the response can complain to the new Police and Crime Commissioners.