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Courts get 'booze Asbo' powers

Rating:
3.5/5,
  1. b3ni
    Courts get 'booze Asbo' powers

    Drinkers could be banned from pubs or off-licences for up to two years


    People in England and Wales who commit crimes or behave anti-socially while drunk could now face a Drinking Banning Order - or "booze Asbo".

    Under powers coming into force on Monday, police and councils can seek an order on anyone aged 16 and over.

    Magistrates can then ban them from pubs, bars, off-licences and certain areas for up to two years. Anyone who breaches the order faces a £2,500 fine.

    But critics say the measure is a gimmick that fails to tackle the issue.

    Alcohol charities said the orders could work as part of a number of measures.

    Culture change

    Home Office minister Alan Campbell said crime and disorder linked to alcohol cost the UK billions of pounds every year.

    "These orders will stop those people who are well known to the authorities, licensees and often the communities where they live, from ruining lives - and will make them face up to their destructive behaviour," he added. It will be jelly bean Asbos for sugared-up kids next. Surely it's time to call last orders on endless new legislation
    Isabella Sankey, Liberty

    Jeremy Beadles, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association which represents companies in the industry, said "tough enforcement" against offenders is "critical if we are to change the culture around problem drinking".

    Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, gave the orders a more cautious welcome.

    "Policing of alcohol-related crime must go hand in hand with more robust measures to curb irresponsible and illegal sales and improved treatment pathways for dependent drinkers," he said.

    Metropolitan Police Commander Simon O'Brien, who speaks for the Association of Chief Police Officers on alcohol licensing, said the orders "add to the toolbox of tactics" in tackling drunken and persistent offenders.

    Alcohol pricing

    But civil liberties group Liberty dismissed the new measure as gimmicks that did not get to the root cause of the problem.

    Policy director Isabella Sankey said: "How many times can you spin a new 'crackdown' without tackling the causes of offending behaviour?

    "It will be jelly bean Asbos for sugared-up kids next. Surely it's time to call last orders on endless new legislation."

    Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, believes the government needs to end the availability of cheap alcohol.

    "The biggest single driver of health-related harm and, indeed, criminal harm from alcohol is the availability and that is being driven by price."

    Rehabilitation courses

    John Thornhill, chairman of the Magistrates Association, said he was "not happy that it will work".

    He added: "We are not satisfied that these will work as effectively as perhaps some of the Asbos have. Clearly the issue is about tackling why it is these people have an alcohol dependency.

    Some offenders may be referred to a course to address their drinking, and if successfully completed, could see the length of the order reduced.

    The participant, not the government, is expected to cover the costs of the Positive Behaviour Intervention Courses, from £120 to £250.

    In Scotland, Asbos can be used to prohibit people from drinking in the streets - the first such orders were imposed on four people in Dumfries in 2006.

    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8227236.stm

Comments

  1. bubbly nubs
    I actually think this is a good idea. The concept at first seems ridiculous, but in my experience a lot drunks are utter arseholes, acting like bloody idiots. One thing the government are doing right in my eyes.

    Also this is a way of punishing only the people who are doing wrong, instead of these drunken fools spoiling it for the rest of the population.
  2. Alfa
    So how will they enforce this? Do they really think a soul is going to care about these fines? Who will inspect if these bans are breached? How? It's impossible.
    The only feasible way I can think of is to give adults licenses to purchase alcohol and to take those away for drunk drivers and violent drunks.
  3. b3ni
    New 'booze Asbos' come under fire

    New powers to impose Drinking Banning Orders - dubbed "booze Asbos" - on people who behave anti-socially while drunk have come under fire.

    From Monday, police and councils in England and Wales can seek such an order on anyone aged 16 and over.

    Offenders must stay away from pubs, bars, off-licences and named areas for up to two years or face a £2,500 fine.

    However, the Magistrates Association said trying to ban people from all licensed premises was "nonsense".

    Its chairman John Thornhill said: "We are not satisfied that these will work as effectively as perhaps some of the Asbos have.

    "If you try banning [offenders] from all the pubs in the town, who is going to tell all the pubs in the town? Many of the supermarkets now have a licence to sell alcohol. It's going to be nonsense really."

    He added that many offenders simply ignored Asbo conditions.

    Other critics branded the measure a "gimmick" that failed to tackle the issue, although it enjoyed support from some alcohol charities.

    The government insists the orders will ensure that irresponsible drinkers face "very real consequences".

    Home Office minister Alan Campbell said crime and disorder linked to alcohol cost the UK billions of pounds every year.

    "These orders will stop those people who are well known to the authorities, licensees and often the communities where they live, from ruining lives - and will make them face up to their destructive behaviour," he added.

    Metropolitan Police Commander Simon O'Brien, who speaks for the Association of Chief Police Officers on alcohol licensing, said the orders "add to the toolbox of tactics" in tackling drunken and persistent offenders.

    But shadow home affairs minister James Brokenshire said they would not be enforced.

    He claimed powers to act against outlets repeatedly caught selling alcohol to children had been used only once in three years.

    'Tough enforcement'

    Isabella Sankey, policy director, for civil liberties group Liberty said: "How many times can you spin a new 'crackdown' without tackling the causes of offending behaviour?

    "It will be jelly bean Asbos for sugared-up kids next. Surely it's time to call last orders on endless new legislation."

    Jeremy Beadles, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association which represents companies in the industry, said "tough enforcement" of the powers was critical.

    Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said the government needed to end the availability of cheap alcohol to limit the health and criminal effects of alcohol.

    Some offenders may be referred to a course to address their drinking, and if successfully completed, could see the length of the order reduced.

    The participant, not the government, is expected to cover the costs of the Positive Behaviour Intervention Courses, from £120 to £250.

    In Scotland, Asbos can be used to prohibit people from drinking in the streets - the first such orders were imposed on four people in Dumfries in 2006.

    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8230406.stm
    _____________________________________________________________

    Looks like a lot of people are thinking the same as Alfa.
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