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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Should Asbos ban hoodie wearing?
Mark Wainfur, with his hoodie

Two brothers from Newport in south Wales have been given Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos) to stop them wearing hoodies.

One of them, Mark Wainfur, 20, has threatened to carry on wearing his.

This is despite risk of arrest and up to two years in jail. He says he has "got nothing else" to wear.

A condition of the Asbo bans them from wearing "hoodies or scarves to hide their identities".

The pair were banned by Newport magistrates from gathering in large groups of people, pestering their neighbours or insulting police officers and council employees.

Mark Wainfur, who is unemployed, said: "I'm never going to stop wearing hoodies. They are my favourite clothes.

"All my tops are hoodies - I haven't got anything else to wear. It's stupid."

Hoodies have created controversy after bans in some shopping centres and pubs, due to fears the clothing can hide potential offenders' identities or are "threatening".

Is this ban reasonable or should the law get involved in dictating what people can and can't wear? Do you wear a "hoodie"?

Thanks for your views. The discussion is now closed but below is a selection of your responses:


I'm 27 years old, I have a respectable job in the IT industry, but I like to wear hooded tops from time to time. I'm a surfer and part of the surf/skate culture is wearing certain kinds of clothes. One of these clothing items is the hooded top. Should I not be allowed to wear my hoody to the beach on a cold day when I'm heading there for a surf? This is getting ridiculous, the problem is not what these yobs are wearing its the fact that they are yobs. Stopping them from wearing hoodies is not going to change them. We are far too soft on crime in this country. Making them do six months hard labour would be far more productive than a silly ASBO.
Gary, Cardiff

If somebody was spotted wearing a stocking over their head or a balaclava or even a mask, wouldn't it be the popular opinion that the person was probably ' up to no good'? The hoodie has the same effect and is used to cover a person's identity when 'up to no good'. 'Hood up' should be frowned upon when it isnt cold or raining or being worn indoors surely. 'Hood down' is fine by me.
Mr desmond warren, fife, scotland

Hoodies are being worn for disguising the person who may be about to commit an offence
john ryan,

He should be prosecuted/jailed for the offences/trouble he has caused, not his dress.
D. Fisher, Barry, S. Wales

I think they should stop wearing hoodies if they can connect them to Anti-Social Behaviour. If this fails then I think we need to look at a compulsory spell in the army for young offenders. It's obvious they need some kind of discipline in their lives.
Dave, Manchester

That is ridiculous. Why should people have the right to tell others what to wear. I wear hoodies because they're comfortable. My boyfriend lives in them but is in no way a criminal and stupid things like this would mean that he can't go into shops and other places. Its stupid to judge people by a type of clothing. You don't judge all girls as tarts for wear the same top/skirt!
Tracy Thomas, Swansea

I think stopping young people wearing hoodies is a stupid idea, I wear them myself and am a 27 year old mother of 2. Will I too be getting an asbo or be banned from shopping centres?
lucy ellett, barry, wales

At 20 isn't he a bit old to wear this sort of clothing! Time for him to get a job, instead of hanging around street corners.It is terribly intimidating to come across two or more kids (in this case grown men) with hoods up and hanging around. They do look like they are looking for trouble. I think there is more to the ASBO than just wearing a hood, looks like this pair have caused nothing but trouble and so the ASBO is correct.
simone, cardiff

Nobody could seriously argue that gangs of idiots/yobs in hoodies aren't a problem, but legislation against an item of clothing is a little difficult to endorse.
Griff, Cardiff, Wales

This is just another ridiculous move by the legal loons that brings us ever closer to a police state. As mad as it sounds, people actually wear hoodies for other reasons other than to commit crime. They serve as wonderful protection against wind and rain. Will we ban umberellas next. They do have potential to poke your eye out.
Jay, Cardiff

I wear a hoodie. I don't hang around in large groups, pester my neighbours, or insult police officers and council employees. If you are going to be a trouble-maker and cannot accept the consequences (what ever they may be), then stop making trouble.
Aaron Fimister, Kirkcaldy, Fife

My son wears hoodies. He, like most other youngsters, is law abiding and the hoodie is seen an article of clothing, not a disguise. I'm sure if he wanted to hide his identity he'd come up with something far better than putting his hood up.
Mike Edwards, Cardiff, Wales

Banning hoodies is just a lazy way of making it appear that something has been done to address the attitudes of criminals. Rather than actually doing something that makes a difference we can now say "they can't wear hoodies any more, problem solved!". I am a 35 year old professional, sometimes I wear a cap or a hoodie, it doesn't make me a bad person.
Justin, Wales

I think the demonisation of the hoodie is ridiculous, and legislating is verging on the fascist. How about we learn to talk to eachother in communities again, give people some respect and 99% of the time you'll get it back.
Ceri Jones, Cardiff, Wales

If they are given ASBOs and part of them is banning "hoodies", then if that is their punishment, and for once in their lives, they should conform.
Evelyn Morris, Hereford

No. There has never been an Act of Parliament making hoodie-wearing a criminal offence. The problem with ASBOs is that it allows the police and magistrates to decide that perfectly legal things can become criminal offences.
Graham, Southampton

Shall we start banning the wearing of sunglasses? Or hats with brims? Coloured contact lenses? Prosecute people for what they do, not what they wear.
Kate Corwyn, Exeter

I wear a hoodie regularly. It is a University of Wales, Aberystwyth hoodie that I purchased in my first year of my degree. I understand that some people use them to hide identity but the fact that I am not allowed to wear mine in certain shopping centres is frankly absurd.
Rebecca Munro, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Yes, I really do think that wearing hoodies gives the impression of threatening behaviour. Why do youths feel the need to hide their faces unless they are upto no good or are incredibly ugly?! I recon if everyone over the age of, say, 60 starts to wear hoodies, then youths would thing it was very 'uncool' and stop wearing them!!
Alison Wakeman, Telford, UK

No, for goodness sake, what next? Banning bacon in frying pans because there is a higher fat content? Do we really want this nanny state to get any worse?
Tom, Cardiff

The ubiquitous "hoody, baseball cap and tracky bottoms" have sadly, become almost a uniform... groups of kids wearing these clothes could not be identified by their parents and as such are a great way of disguising ones appearance.
Steve, Somewhere in Wales

The problem is not the hoodies, it's the people wearing them. Top celebrities wear them... Hard working lawful individuals wear them. It is a very small part of the population that makes it look bad. Just like some brand names are associated with 'chavs' or soccer violence, it doesnt mean that everyone wearing a hoodie is out to rob, rape, assault or even commit a 53 million pound robbery! An ASBO won't do anything. I think new laws should be brought in to give them hard time. Course this is one of those questions where the answer is always a vicious circle, put them in jail - half may sort themselves out, others will come out hardened or more violent as everyone takes things like a custodial sentence differently. Some will come out clear headed that this is not what they want and others will adapt to life in there by clamming up and hardening up.
Alan , Blackpool

It's not JUST the yobs who wear hoodies, and it wrong to stop people wearing them just because SOME people choose to use them to cover up their identity. Besides...if hoodies are banned...they'll just wear hats..!
nicola, cardiff

In the Edwardian era people could be fined for dressing inappropriately. Today, certain groups within society are degrading the nation through their poor standard of dress. We need to reintroduce this law.
Christian, Guildford

In general there is nothing wrong with"hoodies", however, as usual the small minority of mindless idiots spoil things for the law abiding majority. I think if Mr M. Wainfur be found wearing a hoodie now he has been instrucvted not to he should have a custodial sentence imposed and increased everytime he is seen wearing one.
Steve, Newport South Wales

If anyone commits a crime and wears a hood in the process then that becomes an aggravating factor, mens rea, and should increase their punishment. In that way innocent hood wearing people can do so. However, if someone wears a hood in a shopping Mall, that will obviously arouse suspicion
Geoff, Cardiff

I think the point of this ASBO is being missed. This delinquent doesn't just wear his hoodie as a fashion item, it's a disguise. It allows him to break the law and not get caught. Surely he should be stopped from doing something that allows him to continue terrorising his neighbours.
Jono, Newport

I think the "hoodie" issue is far too stereotypical. I wear hoodies, and I am a responsible mother, who happens to suffer from earaches in cold weather. Does that make me liable to an ASBO?
Anon, Cardiff




SEE ALSO:
Asbos ban brothers' hoodie wear
11 Apr 06 |  South East Wales



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