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Half of Asbos breached by offenders

More than one in two Asbos handed out to petty offenders over the last decade have been breached, according to new figures.

Government statistics revealed 56% of Antisocial Behaviour Orders were flouted by those responsible for making other people's lives a misery.

The figures revealed 45,599 breaches took place on Asbos imposed across England and Wales between June 2000 and December 2009.

Officials found an Asbo, often imposed to control the behaviour of street louts, was breached more than four times on average.

A total of 18,670 Asbos were issued between April 1999 and December 2009. The figures are not comparable because of the way they were collected.

The coalition Government has signalled the death of the Asbo as ministers search for more effective ways of tackling low-level yobbery.

Last year Home Secretary Theresa May branded the New Labour invention a "gimmick" and said police should be given discretion to act instead.

In some cases, and if the victim agrees, a lout could escape a criminal or civil penalty by fixing the damage he or she has caused.

Asbos were introduced in 1999 by former prime minister Tony Blair, who said they could be used to tackle lesser offences.

Police forces, local authorities and other public bodies were urged to use them to control the persistently disruptive people.

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