BBC OnePanorama


Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Monday, 21 November 2005

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Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive, however the e-mails published will reflect the balance of opinion. We may also edit some e-mails for legal reasons and for purposes of clarity and length.

The views expressed on these pages are not necessarily the views of the BBC. The e-mails published will be reflective of the balance of opinion received.

I, for one, welcome the prospect that children placed on ASBOs risk long-term negative impact on their lives. These are, in the main, young thugs and troublemakers who know exactly what they are are doing and the effect it has on the people they victimise. We should be handing out more ASBOs, more interim ASBOs, and we should be making sure these young thugs are terrified of the consequences of stepping out of line.
John Robson, Birmingham, UK

I believe that ASBOs could be a great tool if used in conjunction with positive activities for young people. You can't say don't do this don't do that, without reasonable options for what young people can do . It's the old carrot and stick, not just a big stick.
Ronald Pryce, Weymouth , Dorset

ASBO orders may seem to prevent crime, but they do not. In my experience the police question the children who are not causing trouble.

The children that are causing trouble run from the police, the ones that are just speaking to friends or walking around their home area are targeted.

The children that cause trouble are aften from well-known families in the area, these are the ones that the police are scared to approach, the police need know this, but do nothing. Nothing changes.
Mrs A Summers, Liverpool,UK

I am angry at your programme tonight, my son is 11 years old, we live in a deprived area, he suffers from ADD and does not behave anything like Andrew that featured in your programme. He has a very low IQ but knows the difference between right and wrong, ADD is a concentration problem not a behaviour problem. You are giving kids with ADD a bad name. My son tries really hard at schoo, is a good kid I am so proud of him: even when teachers call him daydreamer he still plods on. My lad is nothing like you've portrayed and ADD is not the reason why this kid does what he does
Donna Houston, Rowley Regis, West Midlands

All I can say to the people who made this program tonight, who belive these ASBO 'kids are the victems' is live where I live.

Live next to these criminals for a week, then you tell me these kids shouldnt be on an ASBO.

ADHD? dont make pathetic excuses for criminal behavior. Why is it only kids on council estates that have ADHD?

And before you middle-class-liberal-do-gooders tell us how poor deprived kids on counicl estates shouldn't be singled out as criminals: most kids on council estates are well behaved, yet their is an element that is criminal and that's what the ASBOs are here to deal with.
Mike, Manchester

We are doing these children no favours by not issuing ASBOs on them, as they will only progress to become serious career criminals.
Clive Beere, Manchester

I am a police officer in north London. Can I suggest that the defence barrister featured in this evenings programme and the other people against ASBOs go out with police for an evening and observe how these youths behave and their lack of respect towards authority?
Andrew Windsor, London, UK

Your programme was misguided in criticising the use of ASBOs in England. The fact of the matter is that ASBOs are not used in the frequency that they actually need to be.

I would like the Children's Commissioner to live in the hellish conditions which so many must endure in this country. We need to have more ASBO implementation in England.

We are seeing in this country the effects of misguided social planners who have indirectly created this problem in the first place. The ADHD conditions mentioned in the programme are often related to dietary deficencies and excessive sugar and caffeine in their diet -cola is loaded with both.

Also lacking in these youngsters is solid discipline in the family setting. I agree that some are socially deprived but society must make it clear to them that they will be held to account quickly or the behaviour will only continue.

You question the child's prospects of getting work with a criminal record, try going to work when your car tyres are slashed every week. This is the reality that these children impose on thousands of innocent people.

How can it be right to continue to allow this to be the case month after month, year after year? No, your programme is very, very wrong on this issue.

We are doing these children no favours by not issuing ASBOs on them, as they will only progress to become serious career criminals. I only wish the people who criticise this process could be forced to live next door to these people to see the nightmare that hundreds of thousands of people in this country must endure daily.
Clive Beere, Manchester

How terrible that some children are told that they have to abide by the law! My kids abide by the law without an ASBO.

I lived for a decade on a 'sink estate' and can tell you that ASBOs would have been a welcome first step on many occasions when my goods were being damaged daily by those who thought they were above the law. It was no coincidence that the parents were usually of a similar mindset.
Rob, Oldham, UK

It is sad that ASBOs are given to those who don't understand them. Isn't it the case, however, that the ASBO recipients' parents must assume the responsibility of keeping their offspring out of trouble until they can understand what is acceptable behaviour?

Surely the protection of law abiding victims must be the primary concern? Looking at the case of "Andrew", his mother and father, along with the support of social services, must manage his behaviour until he either behaves properly or goes into the ultimate care of HM Prison Service.
Mark Everest (retired police officer), Hastings England

ASBOs are a waste of time and money - people who do get an ASBO breach them frequently and are not punished. It is also becoming a status symbol amongst youths where it is the "in thing" to have one.
Jeremy, Chelmsford, Essex

ASBOs are just another sign that this country is becoming more authoritarian and are part of the process of erosion of our historic rights and freedoms perpetrated by this government.
Richard Roper

Typical BBC reporting again. No balance, all one-way traffic. No thought given to the people who have to live with this anti-social behaviour.

If half of the people giving their views on the "injustice" of the ASBO process had to live with this type of behaviour I wonder how understanding they would be.
Trevor Abbott, Wallasey

After watching Panorama tonight, I was extremely disappointed at the biased towards the offender. Most of the programme was taken up with the two children that in actual fact needed medical care rather than the general offenders of roving gangs of hooligans that create fear, stress and grafitti, drinking and so on. All this is caused by these roving gangs of teenagers of 16 years of age and above.

I think it was very bad reporting and not at all fairly balanced. My feeling was that the reporting was more sympathetic to the offender rather than the victim and was anti-ASBO.

It seems to me that youngsters diagnosed with a recognised disability are completely failed by this govenment at every turn. They get no help with their condition, no help at school. If given an ASBO is their no way of chalenging under the disability discrimination law or indeed the Human Rights Act?
Donna, Chelmsford, Essex

I found the ASBO documentary horrifying. How can we justify removing the rule of law in this way?
Val Vinall, Wolverhampton, GB

Why did your programme have an air of "yet another stupid idea from labour " about it. It's by far the most effective law of its type and to think we the viewer care for the likes of these anti-social rats you must be joking. It was a total waste of our hard-earned licence fee.
John Watson, Glasgow

Spare the rod and spoil the child. maybe young single mothers should provide the child with a father maybe then the child will learn the meaning of the word discipline. Perhaps we could do without the do-gooder always interferring with the discipline of children or maybe he must have given Tony Blair a nice backhander.
Richard Henry Dawson, Romford, Essex

I found the ASBO documentary horrifying. How can we justify removing the rule of law in this way? Perhaps a showing of the Crucible on BBC would be timely.
Val Vinall, Wolverhampton, GB

One thing you can be sure of is, Professor Haynsley hyphenated Green has never had to live in a locality where these morons create their havoc.
Brian Anderson, Castle Douglas, UK

ASBOs are a good thing if supported by strong local authorities. I feel sick when I see crowds of feral youths on the streets.

In small towns like ours very few ASBOs have been issued. The hooded baseball cap fraternity have nothing to fear and rule the roost.

This country is going down the pan rapidly and when practicable to do so I will leave for Australia where a chance of a decent life where the upright citizen is king and the country-breaking voice of do-gooders is only a background mumble.
Bob Beckett, Sandbach, Cheshire

The programme showed clearly that ASBOs on the whole are served upon young people who have mental health problems and behavioural problems, children who are unable to regulate behaviour and who act on impulse, making it impossible to stick to their ASBOs.

Is it no wonder ASBOs are ineffectual. I think it is high time these children were referred for a mental health assessment first, primarily being screened for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, before one even considers an ASBO.

We need to stop criminalising young people who have already been failed by a system that does not yet properley recognise ADHD and the consequences of not treating it, and by adults who have been in a position to help, for example social workers and teachers, but again have failed the children who have been in their care because of the ignorance and prejudice that exists around the validity of this truly challenging condition.
Andrea Bilbow, ADDISS - The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service, London, UK

I believe that the ASBO is a wonderful thing. It gives so many law abiding citizens their lives back, free from violence and fear
Mrs Margaret Downing, Rothwell, Northants
I have just finished watching your programme ,"ASBO'S On Trial, and I am disgusted. How Phil Parry can stand there and defend the kind of child scum that make so many of our lives miserable is beyond me.

I believe that the ASBO is a wonderful thing. It gives so many law abiding citizens their lives back, free from violence and fear.

My cat has a lower IQ than the "Andrew" you featured. But he can learn the differance between right and wrong quicker than the 24 breaches you mentioned.

It's time society said "No. We will not tolerate this any more." It's people like Phil Parry and his PC brigade that drag this country down and give it to the lawless minority.
Mrs Margaret Downing, Rothwell, Northants

After listening to the comments by certain government people and councillors it makes me sick to the core. They have shown they have no understanding whatsoever about vulnerable people: they are an easy target.

Target the people that are causing the problems and we might get somewhere. I am disgusted by what I have heard from so-called experts, such as councillors. Let them spend a day in the shoes of young people that have learning difficulties.

I work in a college with students that have no comprehension about what they have done, I also work with students that are well aware what they have done and sod all has been done about that.

It's far easier to target the vunerable rather than target the young ones that do cause a problem, In fact, why not just get people in that know the job rather than some jumped up know-it-all that thinks they do?
Suzanne Coleman, Notts

Having watched the Panorama program on ASBOs I have come out feeling that ASBO's should be used far more. I have personally been subjected to malicious damage to my property, thefts and intimidation.

There is nothing that I can do about it. It leaves me feeling impotent and frustrated seeing my property being damaged by yobs. I have spent over £800 repairing damage and replacing stolen items.

As for the 'poor little misunderstood vandals', they will have no problem with an ASBO provided they do not breach the conditons or behave in an anti-social manner - is that a problem? Is it unreasonable to expect others to respect your peace and your proerty?

The ASBO has to be one of the Labour Government's greatest contributions to our society. If people are not prepared to be decent citizens, then this little dose of 'encouragment' will be doing them and their victims a massive favour.
Patrick VB, Halifax, UK

Unfortunatly much of the horrendous anti-social behaviour is caused by pressures exerted on young people by the rampant commercialism in the society we live in, as portrayed on the televion and the constant advertising assaulting and subverting their juvenile brains.
Mike Oram, Teddington England

I watched your programme about ASBOs this evening and I was outraged at the way that these criminals, for want of a better word, were made out to be the poor victims of the british justice system. Once again the victims of these crimes have been forgotten, the average law-abiding citizen who works, pays his taxes and does nothing wrong but is on the receiving end of anti-social and, in many cases, violent behaviour.

Stop defending them and trying to help them out so they don't ruin their lives and start looking after the people who want to do something with theirs.
Adam Bethell, Staines, United Kingdom

I thought your programme was very balanced. I was concerned that the government's expert advisor, the Children's Commissioner seemed to be out of touch with reality of anti-social behaviour. ASBOs are useful and need to be applied without delay to control and hopefully assist, as one of the approaches to be used to help out-of-control children and teenagers to improve and reduce their offending.

I am a psychologist working within the Criminal Justice System. I do not accept that many offenders cannot be made aware of the terms of their order even if they have low levels of IQ.

I hope you will follow this programme up with future examinations of the unacceptable behaviour that some social science academics tend to exacerbate by being out of touch with the reality and behaviour that exists within communities. Most academics and governement advisors live in 'ivory towers' and their own social circumstances means that they tend to live in comfortable suburbs.
Jim Sharp, Coventry, West Midlands, England

What a one sided report. I thought the BBC prided itself on balanced journalism. It strikes me that a particular argument was decided to be put across, which was enabled by manipulative editing.

The law is there to protect and serve the innocent, not perpetrator. Breaking the ASBO is not the point, the reason for receiving the ASBO needed more airing. But this was not to be dwelled on by this programme.

As usual let¿s forget the intimidated (middle-class, patronising lawyers live in nice areas, they aren¿t bothered) and spend TV licence money making a programme to support lowlifes whose only agenda is to destroy others happiness. You have made me so mad.
Chris Jones, Lancaster

It is clear that there is a considerable problem, however I found Councillor Newman's attitude unpleasant and singularly lacking in an understanding of the reasons for the behaviour of some of the children, for whom an ASBO is quite evidently not merely ineffective but positively destructive. It appears to be far too easy to hand these things out, in some cases without adequate research, far too difficult for proper concerns to be addressed and something of an exercise of power without accountability.
W Ayton, Leeds

As usual this ASBO programme seemed to be biased against the government and the police. These young hooligans must be controlled in some way and at least this government is trying to deal with the problem.
R W Harman, Bracknell, England

My opinion is that where we have now a generation of parents who themselves have no concept of right , wrong or what is socially acceptable then we have an uphill struggle on our hands and the ASBO is just a tool to control these social misfits.

I also note that that in not one single case did both parents appear to be interviewed. Do I conclude then that all the subjects of these orders are from one parent families?

These children need discipline from a very early age and my guess is that discipline is a dirty word in some households.
Barry Kent, Sale, UK

The main thrust of the ASBO policy was missed by your programme. Initially the success in clearing, for example, the streets of Manchester was dealt with but the rest of the programme concentrated on purported victims of the ASBO system.

For those of us who have to put up with the abusive and violent behaviour of the teenagers on our streets it is of little comfort to be told that a small minority of then are acting as they do because of some vague diagnosis of attention deficiency syndrome. The effect on the rest of us remains the same. We are as abused and disturbed by their behavior whatever the cause.

If ASBOs are to be effective they can not distinguish between the the evil and the cause of it. That needs to be the work of the social services in bringing aid to bear on those affected families. If they fail to do so, this is no excuse to subject the rest of us to the effects of their malady, which to us, the victims of their behaviour, is not evident.
Anthony King, Wembely, Middlesex

Having just watched Panorama I say "Hurrah for Manchester City Council and the action they are taking." As a genuine 'non-Right-winger' I applaud the Government's action in introducing ASBOs.

I wish the 'do-gooders' were as 'crusading' in their attitude to preserving the peace and safety of decent, ordinary people in our society as they appear to be in supporting the Yobs and deliquents. Fat chance of that though.

I would like it to be 'three strikes and you're out'. It wouldn't take many 'positive actions' and the problems of anti-social behaviour would take a turn for the better and leave our villages, towns, and cities decent places to live in. It is far from being a city problem. It is a nationwide problem.

Me? I have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I know what it is like to have lived through the WWII era without a father to guide me, and no Social Services to 'help' us or counsel us as a family.

We didn't create the mayhem or chaos that this young teenage generation demonstrate. We lived our lives to the best of our ability with a natural respect for others. Not doffing our caps in deference to anyone, proud of who we were, and of the communities in which we lived. If we stepped out of line we were punished. The punishment was hard enough to make us not want to face it a second time.

Everyone nowadays seems to know their 'rights' but not their responsibilites.
F G Sargent, Holsworthy, Devon, UK

ASBOs on trial
20 Nov 05 |  Panorama
ASBOs on trial
20 Nov 05 |  Panorama
Programme transcript
23 Nov 05 |  Panorama

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