SPECIAL REPORT: ASBOs used in war on anti social behaviour in Wisbech
SPECIAL REPORT by: ADAM LAZZARI ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour orders have been met with controversy since their inception in 1998, but a new strategy has seen Wisbech police rapidly increase their use. Nine ASBOs have been issued in Wisbech in the last year, comp
SPECIAL REPORT by: ADAM LAZZARI
ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour orders have been met with controversy since their inception in 1998, but a new strategy has seen Wisbech police rapidly increase their use.
Nine ASBOs have been issued in Wisbech in the last year, compared to two in Huntingdon and only one in March; and no ASBOs have been issued in St Ives or St Neots.
Wisbech sector inspector Robin Sissons said: "Our new strategy is to push through with ASBOs. Our resources are more limited now and we have to be more intelligent and productive in the way we do things.
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"We are issuing a lot more ASBOs than police in other towns of our size and we are leading the way on the matter."
Critics argue that with no rehabilitation component they are ineffective in the long-term and some argue they infringe defendants' human rights, especially when they are "named and shamed".
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ASBO critics also point out that a person can be jailed as a result of breaching an ASBO that was obtained for a non-criminal act.
However, Insp Sissons said: "We have a duty to protect the public from crime and anti-social behaviour.
"The great thing about ASBOs is they order an offender to behave for a long period of time, often two to three years.
"It is often the case that an ASBO is used when a person is being abusive after drinking in the town centre, so by banning them from going there we quickly cut out the problem.
"ASBOs are pro-active rather than reactive. They are a good way of dealing with an issue before it becomes a big problem - before verbal abuse become physical and somebody gets hurt.