David Blackburn

Beating up the ASBO

Beating up the ASBO
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Theresa May has taken the truncheon to the previous government’s rather singular anti-social behaviour policy. The ASBO, of which more than half were ignored in 2008, will be a thing of the past; supermarkets will not be able to sell alcohol at less than cost price; and 24 four hour drinking licenses will be subject to local vetoes, even if the residents do not live near or adjacent to pubs and clubs.

On confronting anti-social behaviour, May pledges that ultimate political cliché - a coherent and comprehensive strategy. At the moment, there are few details beyond fines for selling drink to underage drinkers. Limiting booze intake is welcome, but alcohol is not the sole problem. Some yobbism is born of lost opportunity; some is simply innate. Social listlessness and the culture of mindless intimidation need to be addressed with active initiatives, training schemes and punishments that can’t become totems for anti-social behaviour; I hope the government won’t enact the policy of confiscation that it proposed in opposition.