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Questionnaire: Could Your Child Get an ASBO?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 |
Asbo Child Behaviour Acceptable

There are many different bad habits and courses of conduct that could potentially lead to a court passing an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) against your child. But it's not just children and young people who are given ASBOs – they are given to people of all ages and from all backgrounds.

Indentifying Anti-Social Behaviour

A child under the age of 10 years old in the UK cannot be given an ASBO, but if your child is aged 10 or over, how do you know whether their behaviour may warrant an anti-social order? Here are some questions to ask about your child’s conduct:

  • Does your child harass, pass comments, shout at or swear at residents or passers by?
  • Does your child verbally abuse people outside the confines of your home?
  • Do local residents complain about your child making a lot of noise, especially late at night?
  • Does your child graffiti public property?
  • Is your child an underage smoker or do they drink alcohol in public, and/or get drunk in a public place?
  • Does your child go out with a large group of other children and collectively use their number to threaten others, whether explicitly or implicitly?
  • Does your child racially abuse anyone?
  • Does your child vandalise property belonging to other people, including the council, local authority or other public property?
  • Does your child sniff glue, or misuse other substances?
  • Has your child ever been caught begging?
  • Has your child ever been caught kerb-crawling?
  • Has your child ever engaged in vehicle crime? This includes joyriding or TWOC (Taking Without Owner's Consent), allowing oneself to be carried in a stolen car etc.
  • Has your child ever thrown missiles at anyone?
  • Is your child subject to an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)? Has he or she broken the contract? (This evidence can be used in the procedure for applying for an ASBO.)

If you have answered ‘Yes’ to one or more of these questions in relation to your child, then:

  • Has any of this activity taken place in public in a way that was likely to harass, alarm or cause distress to someone outside your household?

Receiving an ASBO

If you have answered ‘Yes’ to this question too, this could potentially be enough evidence for an ASBO. An ASBO is a civil order that is generally made in the magistrates’ court and lasts for a minimum of two years. It may exclude an individual from a specific area, such as a parade of shops, a local area, specific streets or other places. The courts take any breach of an ASBO very seriously, as it is seen as a flagrant disregard of the court’s authority. Breach of an ASBO is a criminal offence for which an individual can be subjected to an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

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