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ASBOs - What a complete waste of time

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Take stock of ASBOs

Our correspondent writes ...

The Panorama programme For Queen and Country screened on 19th February 2007 showed just how callous this government are when it comes to protecting the young men and women who are prepared to lay down their lives for their country, even if they are fighting a war that nobody now believes was warranted, except of course those who gave the orders and are far too cowardly to admit their mistakes. It has already been said that Blair and his cabinet cronies are not fit to lace the boots of our armed forces personnel but they haven't even got the sense to give our soldiers the equipment they need to do their jobs safely. Nor do they have the compassion to provide answers to the mums and dads, wives and lovers of those who have paid the ultimate price.

Yobs, on the other hand, are fully protected. If they are under a certain age their identities are protected and when they have to serve community sentences they are dressed like council workmen so that nobody knows they are supposedly being punished for some crime or other.

Our soldiers, sailors and airmen perhaps represent the best of British youth. They have a job to do and they do it without question. If it means forfeiting their lives, that's the price they know they might have to pay and they accept the risk. When things go wrong, and they are badly injured, our government don't even ensure these heroes get priority hospital treatment; if they arrive back in coffins, there is no member of royalty waiting at RAF Brize Norton nor can the man who sent them to their deaths - Tony Blair - find time to acknowledge their heroism by bowing his head as their coffins are carried from the plane.

Instead, the government toadies throw their full efforts into devising cover-ups and they punish our brave heroes' families by keeping them in the dark. Even if some coroner criticises the armed forces (vis--vis the government) for not supplying the correct equipment, the spin machine goes into full swing and trots out the most pathetic excuses.

If we conversely examine the kinds of yobs who cause terror for decent people and continually commit wanton acts of destruction, its not difficult to see that they are the complete opposites of our service personnel. They represent the scum element of British youth, those who are worth very little, those who generally prefer to lay down someone else's life rather than their own. Yet we protect them!

When we convict them, we ask them to do menial tasks and we give them an ASBO. In return, they smirk and consider they have been awarded something that will make them the envy of their fellow scumbags. And to show how seriously they take this punishment, a large number immediately breach the terms of their ASBO.

In answer to parliamentary questions on 19th February, Vernon Croaker, under-secretary at the Home Office, trotted out figures showing that in the period up to December 2005 47% of ASBOs were breached. Then he had the gall to say that ASBOs are effective in protecting communities from anti-social behaviour. This he justified by more statistics claiming that, nationally, the percentage of people who perceive high levels of anti-social behaviour fell from 21% in 2002-03 to 17% in 2005-06. This, he said, was the true measure of our (government's) success.

He doesn't mention 2004 at all, and he doesn't admit that you can lessen the percentages in your favour by not asking as many people what they think.

If we accept that yobs who breach their ASBO are just as likely to re-offend if, later in their lives, they actually have to serve a prison sentence for some crime that goes beyond the pale of anti-social behaviour, then it is fairly safe to assume that ASBOs, on the whole, are a complete waste of time rather than a success.

It might be considerably more successful to reveal offenders' identities; to erect stocks in town squares, and do everything possible to shame them. They might even be birched. Or they might be forced to join the army, navy or air force in the hope that the attitudes of the best of British youth might rub off on them.

But that won't happen. Such actions would almost certainly infringe their human rights - rights that our brave servicemen do not appear to have.

Visitors' Comments

RR, Bournemouth writes:

I believe that there should be a law passed which would make it a crime to abuse other peoples rights and that the punishment should be to lose their own human rights. That would make anyone committing a crime against someone else guilty of this offence. This could be called Loss Of Human Rights (LORE) so we would have one law for the good and another LORE for the bad. If they never had human rights then it opens up all sorts of suitable punishments.

MD, Co Durham writes:

Having been the victim of some 227 crimes over the course of three and a half years in Tony Blair's constituency and having seen an ASBO breached no less than 27 times with me alone, I can honestly say first hand that ASBOs do NOT work. The perpetrator received a community order and eight weeks in jail - actually serving only two days as the time on remand was taken into consideration.
ASBOs do not change the behaviour of a seasoned recidivist who is prepared to continue committing crimes and making people's lives as miserable and as worthless as their own. These crimes were committed by the daughter of the then Chairman of the Parish Council who, when I attended council meetings, completely ignored me even though, on one occasion, his drunken daughter was arrested on his doorstep after committing such crimes.
Some 75K worth of damage has been done to my home in total. I wrote to Tony Blair and had meetings with him and his agent. They were worse than useless! So were the police, one of whom was caught forging my name on a witness statement regarding a charge of criminal damage committed by the grandson of Tony Blair's right hand man in Sedgefield. Bit of a pattern emerging here don't you think?
Vernon Coaker, the man who THINKS he is in charge of implementing ASBO legislation, when approached, did not even have the correct and up to date details of my local council's tenancy enforcement unit - he gave me names that were some two years out of date. Doesn't that tell you how much he had his finger on the pulse in the community, and just how in touch our government is with communities and their needs?
I was victim to a cover up - I lost my home, my health and my career due to the corruption and nepotism in Blair's backyard and the incompetence of a police force showing its full ineptitude. I have no intention of letting a scandal of this magnitude drop and for those who thought this would all close over like the Red Sea - forget it - I'm not going quietly!

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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