When they were introduced ASBOs were heralded as a miracle cure for all of societies woes. In practice they have become yet another obstacle between repeat offenders and justice.
When an offender starts their career in crime they are constantly pushing the boundaries. After numerous offences the police become involved and eventually will start sending offiers out. Initially they won't do anything but, as the offending gets worse they may hand out a few warnings. This used to be followed by arrests and court appearances, going through the warning, fine, community sentence route, but then the ASBO was invented.
It involves entire communities having their lives made hell for months at a time while the braver of the residents keep diaries of the various crimes commited by the miscreants. When enough crimes are collected its off to court and, if the crimes are deemed serious enough teh ASBO is issued. A piece of paper telling the ne'er do wellnot to do it again. Time after time this legal slap on the wrist is totally ignored or even considered a badge of honour.
Having your car damaged and windows broken regularly is criminal damage. If a gang of youths set fire to your bin or fence that is Arson. Being subject to a torrent of abuse in the street or threatened with a dog making you fear for your safety is assault. None of these are what police now tend to describe as 'youths causing annoyance' or 'neighbour disputes'.
Abolish ASBOs and prosecute these crimes as they occur. It is time to remind offenders there are consequences to their actions.