Thursday, 4 October 2007

Asbo culture?

Asbo culture?

DAVID Davis's speech to the Conservatives in Blackpool yesterday (Tuesday) focused on what he sees as the "break-up" of British society.

Pointing to the source of the problem as the Tories perceive it, the Shadow Home Secretary said bad parenting, a lack of social responsibility and superfluous red tape were to blame.

He suggested breaking up gangs, "zero tolerance" policing, an end to the early release of prisoners and obligatory drugs rehabilitation schemes among the solutions a Conservative government would enforce.

He also attacked what he called "red tape bureaucracy", blaming the government's "targets, rules, regulations and health and safety".

He added: "No wonder police resignations have trebled under Labour. Half of all crimes are not even investigated."

This week, Bournemouth's antisocial behaviour co-ordinator Jayne Robertson revealed that the number of antisocial incidents reported to police has risen by 19 per cent in the last two years, with 15,839 cases being reported during 2006/2007.

In Poole, the number was 9,270, an increase of just under 10 per cent on the previous year.

Poole's antisocial behaviour order co-ordinator Ian Cooke said: "The political significance of Asbos has increased and residents are now far more aware of where they can report antisocial behaviour. This department has been around for five years now so there's more money and legislation being put in to it.

"There seems to be less tolerance of young people in this part of the world. People only have to kick a ball around the street and people are complaining.

"Every generation has its own changes but this one seems to have an excess of alcohol and young people have more money in their pockets.

"It is easy to blame the parents but there are some who abdicate responsibility. Some say they will speak to their children and others say there is nothing they can do. But if the cause of antisocial behaviour rests with the families then we have got to tackle that. The police now have more powers to tackle early intervention and to tackle the cause of antisocial behaviour."

Rector of Poole Bob Mason said he agrees "broadly" with Mr Davis's views. "There has been a breakdown in family life and in my view growing cohabitation has added to the instability, with a far greater proportion of unmarried people separating," he said.

"For the children involved, this leads to instability, confusion and the lack of a good role model. There are so many children who do not know who their father is.

"As a Christian minister I am saying you reap what you sow if you deviate from God's plan."

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