ASBO absurdity

Nick Cohen pinpoints exactly what’s wrong with ASBOs:

Take the case of the Manchester prostitute who was ordered not to carry condoms. She went to her drug clinic. It wanted to give prostitutes condoms for sound public- health reasons. It handed her some, she was arrested and now faces jail.

Or the story of the 18-year-old who was ordered not to congregate with three or more people. The order was meant to stop him hanging about on street corners and joining a gang. He went to a youth club instead, where there were more than three people and was duly arrested.

No other democratic country imprisons people for carrying condoms or going to youth clubs because no other democratic country has anything like Asbos.

Via Zen Blues.


  1. Rather a ‘wooly liberal’ article, I thought; probably by someone who lives in a nice cul-de-sac in the ‘burbs.

    Certainly the examples cited are appalling, but until one has lived in a shitty area with neighbours who break into your house and/or play music until 5am before trying to steal your car *and* who threaten you with ABH if you confront them – then it’s impossible to make judgements on ASBOs.

    Certainly they’ll be open to abuse – as are arrests in general – but for the poor sods who have to put up with idiots in their community, it’s a blessing.