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Abolish Anti Social Act 2003

Comment 23rd August 2010


The concept of anti social behaviour is very vague. According to the Labour government led by Tony Blair, anti social behaviour was a civil concept of some criminal activities from the outset, such as criminal damage, theft , assault, drunken rage, etc, mainly committed by the unruly yobs. The Labour came up with the Anti Social Act 2003 to give the so called yobs a second chance rather than a criminal record. If the criminal activities persist after ASBO, the individual will then be subjected to criminal proceedings.  

Due to the civil nature of ASBO, the evidence required for ASBO is of very low level, largely on hearsay evidence or no evidence at all.  The ASBO will be granted if an official goes to the court to apply for one against an individual . However, the consequence of an ASBO is disproposionately severe once it is granted. It is a powerful tool to criminalise people which is just to the contrary to its original manifested intention of the legislation. It is a powerful tool to persecute innocent people since the authority can then use every power given to them to escalate the ASBO to every aspect of the person's or indeed the individual loved ones' life. 

ASBO can be extended without a hearing at the request of any official! 
 It is obvious to me that making ASBO civil leading to severe criminal sanctions is a plot to make it easier to criminalise and persecute anyone the officials would like to.
In a civilised society , no criminal acts should be tolerated or downgraded to civil nature in the name of giving the offenders a second chance. There are sufficient tools available in the existing criminal enforcement system to tackle any offence of criminal nature . To deliberately mistakenly relable criminal acts as civil will no doubt create a lot of scope for such to be manipulated and abused by some incompetent or corrupted officials. The consequence to the society is grave as we can see today. The so called anti social behaviour is not reduced under the Labour government while perfectly law abiding citizens are labelled as anti social and face the prospect of 5 year imprisonment if he/she is criminalised.  
In my view, there is No anti social behaviour, but civil act or criminal act. In the case of civil act, leave it to the civil court. In the case of criminal act, the police should deal with it accordingly in the frame of the existing enforcement protocol. That is what they are paid for. Whatsmore, the academic entry level to become a police should be raised and I do believe integrity to certain level does come with proper education.
If this government is serious about getting rid of bad laws which will plague generations to come, ASBO is one of them. Afterall, we never know who will be put to the receiving end in the future.


Why does this matter?

ASBO is the most easily abused and sadistic legislation in the modern times. There must be no place for such abusive legislation enacted to persecute people. To protect the future generations from such persecution and the justice system from such manipulation, ASBO should be repealed as soon as possible.

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