Belfast Telegraph

Number of Asbos issued dwindles to two in a year

By Rebecca Black

Northern Ireland's courts issued just two anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) last year.

In England and Wales, the number dropped from 4,122 in 2005 to 1,349 in 2013.

Asbos were introduced by Tony Blair's government to tackle minor incidents that might not have warranted a conviction. Applications can be made by the PSNI, councils and Housing Executive.

Only 18 were issued here in 2011, and that number dwindled to just two in 2015.

DUP MLA Peter Weir said it seemed Asbos were being abandoned. "The figures show a dramatic reduction from what was a low base to start with," he added.

"The PSNI never showed a great deal of faith in the concept, but what little faith they had has clearly evaporated.

"It is startling that only two Asbos were issued throughout all of Northern Ireland.

"Asbos have, in effect, been virtually abandoned by the police, and while many would share their scepticism, anti-social behaviour remains a very real problem for many people throughout Northern Ireland, with the power to make the day-to-day lives of our residents a living nightmare.

"If the PSNI is not now using Asbos, then it is incumbent on them to very publicly highlight their alternative strategy to provide relief for harassed and often vulnerable local citizens."

A Bill was passed in the House of Commons in 2014 to replace Asbos with new Criminal Behaviour Orders.

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