Whilst the police should have the power to deal with troublemakers and people who are causing a public nuisance, they should not be able to victimise innocent members of the public who are merely going about their everyday lives.

Paragraph 6 of Section 30 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act allows a police officer to remove a person they believe to be aged under 16 to their place of residence if they are not accompanied by an adult, even if they have done nothing wrong and are not causing any trouble to anyone.

This means that all under 16s can potentially be punished for the misdeeds of a minority and are legally treated as potential criminals regardless of their actual likelihood of committing a crime.  Curfews should be used as a punishment for those who have actually done wrong, not as an instrument to victimise an entire age group.

What is more, this law does nothing to tackle anti social behaviour, as other laws (including the others in section 30 of this act) already give police the powers to deal with people who are acting in an unruly or antisocial manner.  If anything this law actually serves to waste police time that could otherwise be used tackling genuine yobs.

Section 30, paragraph 6 of the 2003 Anti Social Behaviour Act should be removed from the statute books at the earliest possible moment in order to make it absolutely clear that this law is an unacceptable breach of the civil liberties of entirely innocent citizens.

Why is this idea important?

This draconian law is a typical example of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  It treats all under 16s as though they are antisocial yobs, regardless of their actual behaviour, even though only a very small minority of people are responsible for most of the anti social behaviour that occurs.


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