Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 October 2004

Anti-social behaviour:

New Powers Won't Work

A FEW weeks ago, the Bristol Evening Post comments column commended the new powers of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in evicting drug dealers and their families from their homes.

Bob Marshfield, Bristol

Although they were referring solely to drug dealing on estates, these comments would have struck a chord with many ordinary working people who suffer other forms of anti-social behaviour, as well as drug dealing. In fact, one in three people say anti-social behaviour is a problem for them.

Since the powers of ASBOs came in to force in 1999, the government has been looking at ways of increasing their effectiveness.

In March 2003 the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill was introduced, extending the powers that can be obtained under ASBOs. There has been an increase in the use of ASBOs as a way of dealing with anti-social behaviour by the police and local authorities. So far 2,455 ASBOs have been granted nationally.

Under ASBOs people can be told who they can meet and where they are allowed to go. Breaking the rule is an offence which people can be arrested for.

As a resident I am concerned about loutish behaviour, drug dealing, drunkenness, noise etc but are ASBOs the right way forward?

Extra powers

THE ACT means that ASBOs can be sought through the courts to evict people not only from a local authority house but also from housing association and privately rented property.

But what is going to happen to individuals and their families who are evicted from their homes? Will the children be eventually taken in to care? Will the evicted tenants have to go on the street and then be hounded every day by the police? In other words is the problem going to move on to another area or made worse?

Extra powers can also give the police the right to disperse a group of individuals with immediate effect for a period of 24 hours and this group could comprise just two people. If they returned before 24 hours they could receive a prison sentence of three months.

This is an attack on our right to assembly. It could be used at any time to hinder our rights to peaceful protest and to demonstrate.

Social deprivation

The police will also gain extra powers to deal with minors in an unauthorised area. In effect, they will be able to operate a blanket curfew from 9.00pm. Any minor out of doors with out an adult present after 9.00pm will subject to removal by the police.

These orders attack our young people's rights to mix socially and freely in groups. It is only a small number that are a problem but all are tarred with the same brush.

On the spot fines do not solve the problem. They will end up making criminals of parents for the children's actions. And what will happen to the parents who cannot afford these fines?

Young people have a right to live in a society, which offers them a decent future. They have the right to a decent education system. There should be plenty of activity centres where youth can meet up. Support should be made available for families finding it hard to cope and for drug rehabilitation.

ASBOs don't address the real underlining problems that exist in society. They are cheap propaganda shots that give the impression that the government is serious about improving workers' lives.

But it's capitalism that blights our present and futures. Crime and anti-social behaviour are linked to poverty and social deprivation. Only by getting rid of the system that allows these to fester will society develop in a genuinely inclusive way. Our job is to give capitalism the red card. Or better still, an ASBO!


Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 2 October 2004:

Out Of Touch!

Vote 'Yes': Strike Back Against Job Losses

City-Wide Movement To Save Decent Jobs

Fighting Back In Coventry

Unite Against The Jobs Massacre

Bosses Think Minimum Wage Too High

Time For A New Workers' Party

The Other parties of Big Business...

Students Sign Up for Socialism

International socialist news and analysis

Socialist Alternative Win Two Council Seats in Germany

Health Workers in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Gear-Up For Elections

Oil Prices Break $50 A Barrel Mark

Socialist Party news and analysis

Open Letter To Sacked Liverpool Dockers

New ASBOs Powers Won't Work

Industrial Action Threatened Over Council Pensions

ASLEF: The Battle Continues


Home   |   The Socialist 2 October 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleHow can civil liberties be protected?

triangleThem & Us

triangleRight to protest under attack


triangleBristol Socialist Party & Socialist Students: Fight the Tories - Fight for your Future!

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Defend LGBT+ rights

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Venezuela - the fight for genuine socialism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Honda - What can we learn from past trade union disputes?


triangleNorthern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up

triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangleInterview: protests over killing in Israel


triangleLondon Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis

triangle20 September climate action day: Strike to save the planet!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Socialist Party

Donate to help us move our press by October



Ilford: strike forces school management to back down



PCS members at BEIS maintain just fightback


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist



London: packed public meeting discusses political crisis



Worcestershire campaigners plan march to save Bewdley Fire Station



Strike back to stop bullying Royal Mail bosses


South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire defeats fire cuts



Nottingham College UCU - more strike action planned



DVSA strike - employer asks for talks



PCS general secretary candidate: unions must mobilise to drive out Boris


Climate change

Climate protests: which way forward after 20 September?



Lincolnshire health visitors strike boost


Trade union

South Yorkshire FBU celebrates halt to cuts



Earth strike day in London

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019