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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK
Many Asbos 'have little effect'
Graffiti
There were more than 340 Asbo applications in 2005-06
Many anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) have little effect in improving behaviour, a study has suggested.

Research commissioned in 2004 by the then Scottish Executive found that almost one in every three Asbos issued since then had been breached.

In 27% of the cases reviewed, there was a "perceived" improvement in behaviour after an Asbo was granted but it was no better in 31% of cases.

Ministers said they were reviewing the anti-social behaviour strategy.

There were a total of 344 Asbo applications by councils and social landlords in 2005-06, 24% up on the previous year. The vast majority of Asbo applications related to anti-social behaviour in and around the perpetrator's home - typically, for "excess noise".

Most perpetrators were male, over 21, and living in social rented housing.

The researchers said that though there had been no improvement in almost one third of Asbo cases, this did not mean there would be no change in the future.

Fergus Ewing MSP
We're reviewing the anti-social behaviour strategy and have begun talks with key agencies
Fergus Ewing MSP

Researchers said just over 20% of cases led to a tenant being evicted or having their tenancy terminated.

Although this was a "success" in the sense that it brought relief to long-suffering neighbours, it could also mean the problem was being displaced elsewhere, the report said.

In 16% of cases it was either too early to say what effect they had brought or there was insufficient information.

The report said: "There remains some question as to whether all local authorities are as yet making full use of Asbo powers."

Five councils - North Lanarkshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife - accounted for almost half of all the Asbos sought in 2005-06.

Young criminals

Community safety minister Fergus Ewing said: "We're reviewing the anti-social behaviour strategy and have begun talks with key agencies, including police and councils, as part of that process.

"This report provides a helpful contribution to the evidence base as we seek to help build safer and stronger communities across the country."

He also said the number of Asbos had doubled over the study period, and that the researchers had identified improvements in the application process.

Scottish Conservative community safety spokesman John Lamont said: "Asbos are seen by some as a badge of honour, which totally undermines their stated purpose.

"We have to move away from a culture that finds ever more imaginative ways to avoid labelling young criminals as criminals and getting to the root cause of the problem."


SEE ALSO
Asbo couple facing eviction order
04 Sep 07 |  South of Scotland
Behaviour contracts use 'growing'
03 Jan 07 |  Scotland
Persistent young offenders rise
01 Dec 06 |  Scotland
Asbos signal 'community backlash'
04 Dec 06 |  South of Scotland
Use of Asbos doubles in two years
30 Nov 06 |  Tayside and Central

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