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ASBOs and "The Respect Agenda"

There have been stories today about the government wanting to make progress on the "respect agenda". As usual they have no real idea of how to achieve things.

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders have been around for centuries. They are originally known as court injunctions. Much that there is criticism of ASBOs I do support their use. They are not a complete solution. It takes police resources to enforce them.

Where the government go wrong is targeting the number of ASBOs issued rather than trying to reduce anti-social behaviour. If there is less anti-social behaviour one would expect fewer ASBOs. In Birmingham when we took over (with the Conservatives) from Labour we substantially increased the number of ASBOs. However, that is as a tool to reduce anti-social behaviour rather than as an end in itself.

Efficient and just processes are the key to success in this area.

What ASBOs do do, however, is to move towards considering people rather than events. Although a court procedure has to consider a particular event or series of events, if we want to reduce crime we need to deal with criminals.

That is a matter of discouraging crime initially and also ensuring that those people that start down a route of criminality take a U turn.

This, however, is a completely different route to that which is currently used by government. Hence they are unlikely to make any real progress.

Interestingly in a league table of levels of Crime Birmingham came out quite well at around the levels in Cambridge. I am not sure that the figures were properly calculated, but it warrants looking at as an issue. We have managed to reduce crime in Yardley quite substantially - frequently by simple measures such as gating areas which previously gave burglars open access to the rear of people's houses.

It is sad that we have to do this, but it does make a real difference. We have also put in schemes to prevent repeat burglaries. That also works well.

It remains, however, that the over use of cautions does not help.


Bob Piper said…
"As usual they have no real idea of how to achieve things."

Ha ha ha ha ha. This from a member of Birmingham's most ineffective and moribund council in living memory. Achieve things? Don't make us laugh. The only thing you've 'achieved' is to curtail bus lanes, encourage car use and congestion, and brought a regeneration of the City to a grinding halt.
john said…
Not only have we continued the regeneration/development of Eastside, but also we have turned around Housing and Social Services and are reducing congestion. Part of one bus lane has been curtailed for part of the 67 route.
TonyF said…
Oh yes and don't forget the yellow bands painted on lamp posts quote Martin Mullaney ' To stop partially sighted people from bumping into them'
If you can't see the lamp post, how the hell are you going to see the yellow band?
Who thought that bright idea up and how much of taxpayers money did it cost?
john said…
Not heard of this before.
Richard Allen said…

I don't know anything about the scheme in question but I would have thought that an average 5 year old would be able to understand that a yellow band would make a dull coloured lamp post easier for a partialy sighted person to see.
TonyF said…
Have you seen how wide and that they're only painted on certain ones, not all of them?
If you haven't heard of this John then it goes to show what great commications there are within the ruling Council, especially as Mullaney's one of yours!
TonyF said…
By the way Richard, I've already spoken to someone at my wifes disabled day centre who is partially sighted. They said they already have a way of avoiding lamp posts, they're called sticks and guide dogs. Happy 5th Birthday
TonyF said…
if we want to reduce crime we need to deal with criminals.

Did you think of that one yourself John or did your shadow home secretary let you in on that little secret?
Bob Piper said…
I love that bit.... are reducing congestion!!!

Birmingham Evening Mail June 7th (just two days after John wrote that)

Brum Congestion Nightmare: Gridlock Shock for Drivers.
"Birmingham drivers sit frustrated and stationary in traffic jams for more than 20 minutes every hour according to new research."

Phew, working well then John, three years in!

As John said "As usual they have no real idea of how to achieve things."

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