Rate of Suffolk Asbos
THE rate of anti-social behaviour orders handed out to troublemakers in Suffolk has fallen, new Home Office figures have revealed.Statistics released yesterday show that 32 banning orders were issued between January 1 and September 30, 2005.
THE rate of anti-social behaviour orders handed out to troublemakers in Suffolk has fallen, new Home Office figures have revealed.
Statistics released yesterday show that 32 banning orders were issued between January 1 and September 30, 2005.
They brought the county's running total of anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) to 130 since April 1, 1999.
But if the average monthly rate of Asbos imposed has continued in the county since the end of September, around 42 would have been handed out by the end of 2005 - which would be a drop of 50% on the previous year.
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The greatest number of restrictions were imposed in the Ipswich Borough Council area last year, where 11 were handed out in the first three quarters of the year, bringing the total over the five-and-a-half year period to 45.
This was closely followed by Suffolk Coastal District Council, where 33 were given out, with 11 between January and September 2005, and Waveney, where 28 were imposed with six in the first nine months of last year.
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Rachel Tucker, Asbo officer for Waveney District Council, said she was not surprised the numbers of orders being issued appear to be falling.
She explained that authorities now meet on a monthly basis to see what can be done with individuals who cause harassment, alarm or distress.
“The first port of call is to divert them away from doing that. Asbos are seen as a last option,” she said.
A total of 46 Asbos were given out to juveniles in the county between April 1999 and September 2005. Eleven youngsters aged between 10 and 17 received the bans from courts in the first three quarters of last year, compared to 12 in the same period the previous year.
The figures, which showed that nationally 43% of the 7,356 ASBOs in England and Wales were given to juveniles, come after a former top Home Office civil servant launched an attack on the Government's use of child Asbos.
Martin Narey said too many youngsters were being locked up as a result of the orders and suggested the Government had gone back on its word to only use Asbos on under-18s in “exceptional” cases.
But Jim Manning, Ipswich council's head of community safety, said the borough currently has 46 Asbos on its records but only seven are on juveniles, bucking the national trend.
He said the fact Ipswich had the highest rate of Asbos was to be expected, as a third of all crime in the county is in the town.
“There is a lot more preventative work going on now to stop certain people get to that stage where they are the subject of an ASBO but also I think the message getting out to people is that if they do misbehave then it will result in proceedings against them,” he said.
Applications for Asbos can be made to magistrates by a police force, local authority, housing action trust or registered social landlord.
The orders, which are tailored to each individual, are designed to tackle low level crime that blights communities and can ban people from certain locations or stipulate a curfew.
Troublemakers face jail if they persist with behaviour barred under the orders.