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Last Updated: Thursday March 30 2006 16:51 GMT

Record number of Asbos given out

Asbo paperwork.
The number of anti-social behaviour orders issued in England and Wales last year is set to reach a record high.

Figures released on Thursday for the first part of 2005 show 1,058 children aged 10 to 17 were given Asbos, compared to 1,077 for all of 2004.

Asbos are a special set of rules given to someone whose behaviour is causing problems to their community.

But a children's charity had criticised their use, saying they are putting kids into the criminal system.

The statistics show that since Asbos started in April 1999 until September 2005, there's been a total of 7,536 and 43% were given to kids aged 10 to 17.

In Greater Manchester there were 152 Asbos given to 10 to 17-year-olds in the first nine months of 2005.
Asbos given to kids
Gang bullying a teenager.
Jan - Sept 2005: 1,058
2004: 1,077
2003: 515
2002: 239
2001: 185
2000: 61

Barnardo's boss Martin Narey said that Asbos should only be used for kids whose behaviour is "entirely unacceptable".

He said: "Many children are getting Asbos for behaviour which would not remotely lead them to prison in normal circumstances, but if they breached the Asbo they can go to prison.

"Some Asbos for children are necessary, Asbos have their place, but they've being overused and are catapulting children in to prison."

But Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said the figures were extremely encouraging because anti-social behaviour can be a "harrowing experience" that "no-one should have to endure".

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