A Suicidal Woman, Roaming Pigs and a Noisy Trampolinist: Refining the Asbo's Definition of Anti-Social Behaviour
52 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2005
This article discusses the definition of anti-social behaviour employed by section 1(1)(a) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 for the purposes of the Anti-Social Behaviour Order. It argues that, if the ASBO is to remain at the forefront of the Government's campaign against anti-social behaviour, s1(1)(a) should be amended. The article begins by outlining the claimed benefits of, and critics' concerns about, the definition, arguing that the difference of opinion stems from different views of state power. It then argues that the ASBO has been employed as a heavy-handed instrument of social control, often at the expense of more constructive forms of intervention, and that this has shown New Labour's willingness to vest enforcement agencies with the wide-ranging discretion conferred by s1(1)(a) to have been misplaced. Finally, it proposes a refined version of s1(1), which succeeds in focusing the Order on the sort of case for which it was purportedly designed whilst maintaining any benefits of the broad definitional approach currently taken in s1(1)(a).
Keywords: Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, Defining Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Disorder Act 1998
JEL Classification: K14, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation