Sunday, 8 August 2010

ASBO Concern

This was orginally puiblished on the No More Prison Website in 2005

Asbo Concern, a new campaigning organisation, is to be launched next month. Coordinator Matt Foot, a criminal defence solicitor, explains: "The government is irresponsible promoting Asbos - which often criminalise people for behaviour that is not criminal - when there is no evidence that they work. We have serious concerns about the way they are used and want to organise the broadest possible coalition to put pressure on the government for a full review."

The New Group's Launch meeting takes place at 7.00pm on Thursday 7th April at Friends Meeting House opposite Euston Station.


We are an alliance of organisations and individuals who wish to campaign about serious concerns with the use of ASBOs.


1. Anti-social behaviour can cause distress and misery but the response to it must be appropriate, just, proportionate, positive and effective.

2. Asbos are a punitive measure that can criminalise people for behaviour that is not criminal, and often imposed only on the basis of hearsay evidence.

3. They do nothing to deal with the causes of anti-social behaviour and can distort the work that is being done to build stronger communities.

4. The government is increasing the use of Asbos, despite the fact that there is no evidence that they work. Home Office figures show that at least one third of Asbos are breached.

5. Asbos can result in eviction of whole families and are increasing the prison population, with people being jailed for breaches of Asbos even for offences that would not otherwise be imprisonable. Around 10 young people a week are imprisoned this way.

6. We want properly funded community and youth services and support for people with mental health, drug and alcohol or other social problems to build an inclusive society.


1. To bring together those concerned about the way asbos are used - charities, professionals, trade unions, community groups, young people and others - in a joint campaign.

2. To publicly highlight the problems with asbos and the need for alternative ways of tackling anti-social behaviour that does not criminalise people for actions that are not criminal.

3. To counteract the scapegoating and stigmatising of children and young people and vulnerable groups and campaign for properly funded youth services and support for those who need it.

4. To campaign for a full public government review of asbos and the way they are used.



NAPO, CYWU, Inquest, British Association of Social Workers, Childrens Rights Alliance, Action on Rights for Children, Fair Play for Children, Brent Youth Company, Holborn GMB, Legal Action for Women, International Prostitutes Collective, The Green Party, Respect,,  Red Pepper, Scottish Prostitutes Education Project.


Janet Batsleer, Louise Christian, Bernard Davies, Pam Eland, Matt Foot, Helen Gregory, Gavin Shelton, Iain Taylor, Elizabeth Harding, Liz Richmond, Rev Ray Gaston, Jen Malcolm, Tim Farrell, Dave Edwards, Sue Spilling, Dr Jane Ferrie, Adah Kay, Mike MacNair, Caroline Lucas MEP, Manuela Sykes, Richard Hoyle, Martina Habeck, Marie Xenophontos, Jon Davis, Hilary Wainwright.

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