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Last Updated: Friday March 24 2006 18:34 GMT

Asbos: children's commissioner

Al Aynsley-Green.
Newsround spoke to the children's commissioner for England about anti-social behaviour orders.

The commissioner, Al Aynsley-Green, used to be a doctor and now he advises the government on children's issues.


Do you think there's a case that Asbos are turning children into criminals at a very young age?

I don't think it's just Asbos, I think it's a whole attitude in society.

Teachers tell me that the police are being called to school to deal with minor things that would have been dealt with within the school previously.

All the time it's increasing the bringing of children into the offending system.

I'm concerned about the criminalisation of children, I think far too many children are locked away when they are older of course, not under the age of 10.

I do think there's an issue in society where we're increasing the criminalisation of children.

Do you think a child with behavioural problems should be given an ASBO?

I'm very concerned about it. We've been told that up to 30% of young people with Asbos may have some form of diagnosed mental health or emotional problem.

So that tells me there's not a proper process to understand the children and they need help rather than punishment.

What do you think should happen in the future?

I'm not totally against Asbos and they can be very useful is some circumstances.

But I think more focus should be put on preventing anti-social behaviour and understanding the causes rather than just punishment and control.



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