Frank Field MP
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Anti-social Behaviour Bill

24 March 2005 as a ten minute rule bill

A Bill designed to make provision in connection with anti-social behaviour.

Background note to an anti-social behaviour Bill

The Government scores full marks in the emphasis it puts in trying to counter anti-social behaviour. There is however a big question mark over its strategy and the assumptions which underpin its strategy to counter anti-social behaviour. This Bill sees a growing failure of families to teach their offspring the basis of civilised behaviour. A successful anti-social behaviour strategy must therefore hold the line as effectively as possible while also looking at the root cause of the rise and rise of today’s yobbish behaviour.

It is not only a matter of holding the line but of effectively enforcing sanctions quickly. The Bill assumes that if anti-social behaviour is not countered immediately the chances are that those indulging in such activities will not only actively recruit accomplices but that the longer such actions are left unchecked the greater the likelihood is of them being escalated – speed is the essence.

Where parents fail or are unable to control the behaviour of their offspring, or worst still, participate themselves in anti-social behaviour, Police need the power to act as surrogate parents. The Bill gives the Home Secretary powers to pilot proposals to give Police the power to be surrogate parents. Modelled on the powers of a football referee, the Police would be given powers to caution, warn and then impose anti-social behaviour orders. It would then be up to those on whom the orders have been placed to go into court to appeal the decision if they through it was unfair.

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