Any info about ASBOS?

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Joined: 26-09-03
Nov 7 2004 14:00
Any info about ASBOS?

I'm writing an article for Freedom about ASBOs and how they relate to community action. Anyone got info? Questions I have include:

Is the government's focus on 'anti-social behaviour' just a cash in on a

moral panic, or is there a real rise in people being harassed?

Has street crime gone up or down inm the last 20 years?

Figures for youth provision over last 20 years.

Have ASBOs been called for by community groups?

Have ASBOs ever made a positive differnce on the ground?

Alternative ways people have dealt with street crime/harassment (I know about Oxford IWCA's stuff)

Links to references would be appreciated.

I'll be doing myown research as well, you know -- anything you guys offer will be the cherry on the cake 8)

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Nov 7 2004 23:32

Doesn't answer any of your questions, but ways they've already been misused are:

They've been used to shut down pirate radio stations - because they advertise parties where "drugs might be sold" - (in which case next time Glastonbury's on....), and put aerials on tower blocks (in which case get 3 or Orange next time they put one up without planning permission).

Also against Sony/BMG for flyposting (I think they settled out of court) - which I'm not sad about, but it could be used against political groups in the future for flyposting (although that'd hurt the swappies more than us).

And some vicar in the south west got done by his neighbours for ringing his bells too loud after they'd been restored (don't have a link, heard it elsewhere, noise legislation could have been used instead of an ASBO, as could most laws that they're replacing with civil penalties then longer prison sentences).

Joined: 6-10-03
Nov 8 2004 08:26

I presume you've seen ASBOwatch

Steven.'s picture
Joined: 27-06-06
Nov 8 2004 11:01

i saw in the Mirror someone got evicted for "being racist". Which is an interesting concept...

the button's picture
the button
Joined: 7-07-04
Nov 8 2004 12:53

The whole ASBO thing has pretty much hijacked the agenda of my local residents' association. After a victory over the council, where we got £2.4 million back off them for improvements to the place, any kind of momentum we had has been dissipated by Lewisham Council/Circle 33 Housing Association weekly 'surgeries' on anti-social behaviour on the estate.

I suppose my take on this is that ASBOs are a way of inviting community participation in a very limited (& to my mind, clearly fucked up) way. Never mind years of underinvestment, why not come and have a moan about "kids today"?

And it's taken the wind right out of the sails of what was shaping up to be a good, active residents' association that wouldn't say no to a bit of direct action -- disrupting council meetings, picketing Decent Homes Standard roadshows, etc. sad

Ah well.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Nov 8 2004 17:40

No, I hadn't seen that site. Ta.

Joined: 26-09-03
Nov 9 2004 18:36

Good stuff. I like the button's thing about how ASBOs have re-directed community energy towards getting a police-fix for problems.

I'll steal all these ideas and dress them up as my own (anonymously) black bloc


Joined: 19-09-03
Nov 9 2004 21:46

DISARM DSEi Email: Website:

Address: BM Box 3679, London WC1N 3XX Tel: 07817 652029


27th August 2004, for immediate release


Two women were given Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) for handing out leaflets in Richmond town centre yesterday afternoon.

The protestors, one of whom had her eight month old baby with her, were holding a banner and handing out leaflets outside the offices of Spearhead Exhibitions, the company responsible for organising the world’s largest arms fair, Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi).

One of the women comments: “We were not being noisy or anti-social and we were not in anyone’s way. We just wanted to hand out leaflets for an hour and then leave. The police were unnecessarily aggressive towards us and they took away our right to peacefully protest.”

The women were banned from entering Richmond town centre for 24 hours, and faced arrest and a possible three month prison sentence if they entered the area during this time.

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders were introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. The ASBOs used against the protestors come under Section 30 which covers dispersal of groups and is supposed to apply when “the presence or behaviour of a group of two or more persons in any public place…has resulted, or is likely to result, in any members of the public being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed”.

The fact that police have used ASBOs against two peaceful protestors who were not causing harassment, alarm or distress to anyone is clearly an abuse of their new powers under the Act.

For more information contact DISARM DSEi: 07817 652029 or