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Misuse of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders

Keith Parkins | 05.07.2004 12:40 | Analysis | Repression | Social Struggles

Are Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) being misused? They were originally introduced to clamp down on yobs, but there is growing evidence they are being used to clampdown on political dissent.

Mike Lane has recently written on the abuse of ASBOs. I have added to this by giving examples of an ASBO being served on Transco who had one of their buildings spray-painted by graffiti artists and community activist Peter Sandy being threatened with an ASBO in a crude attempt to prevent him fighting Pavilion Housing Association to force repairs.

The latest issue of SchNEWS gives some more examples (SchNEWS issue 458 2 July 2004).

A couple of weeks ago, protesters arrived at Caterpillar’s offices in Solihull, to continue their demonstration against the company’s sale of bulldozers to Israel. ‘The Home Wrecker of The Year’ (SchNEWS 454) award for their contribution to Palestinian misery was again on offer and once again declined. Eight out of eleven protesters were nicked using ASBOs

For the past few years Dave Edwards has been campaigning in Rugby, against the council over issues like health and safety and corruption etc. Rugby Council got so fed with his protests they did what ever caring council does and tried to shut him up and slapped an Interim Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) on him. Dave then decided to camp outside the Town Hall and go on hunger strike. After a few days he was nicked under the Vagrancy Act but magistrates decided it was not in the public interest for the case to continue so Dave resumed his position on the council steps. A couple of weeks ago, Dave was again arrested and charged with breaching his interim ASBO by causing alarm and distress to an ex-councillor. Since then, he has been held on remand at Blakenhurst Prison in Redditch, where he remains on hunger strike. He would really appreciate letters of support to keep his spirits up. David Edwards LJ8405, HMP Blakenhurst, Hewell Lane, Redditch, Worcs. B97 6QS

SchNEWS would like to hear from anyone else who is aware of the abuse of ASBOs. SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England tel/fax: +44 (0)1273 685913 email:

The irony is that it is nigh impossible to get them served for their intended purpose (or was that just a cover), dealing with yobs, or when they are served, to get them enforced.

In Aldershot, yobs are making peoples lives a misery, especially in the town centre and on Pavilion estates. It has taken a lot of pushing by local campaigner Peter Sandy to get anything done. The Council claim there is not a problem. Pavilion have finally pulled their finger out and drawn up the necessary paperwork and helped collect the evidence. Now the Police are dragging their feet. Pavilion have recently applied to the courts to have ASBOs served on five yobs. The judge threw all five applications out as too harsh.

Keith Parkins


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