Thirteen: ASBO youth: rhetoric and realities


Under New Labour, the problem of anti-social behaviour (ASB) has become, and continues to be, a central policy issue in the United Kingdom. The introduction of a raft of new legislation to deal with this social problem has seen the creation of a variety of behaviour regulation instruments ranging from night curfews to the Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO). However, alongside these new sanctions, one target group of such interventions is distinctly familiar: troublesome young people. This chapter summarises the findings of an Economic and Social Research Council-funded exploratory pilot study that was undertaken in 2005 and draws upon in-depth interviews with two youths (both subject to ASBOs) in one locality. The interviews sought to explore the perception and impact of various ASB interventions upon the respondents. The chapter also considers the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme for persistent young offenders and concludes by advocating the importance of both acknowledging and listening to the ‘anti-social youth perpetrator perspective’ for the purposes of more holistic understandings of ASB and the impact and consequences of its regulation.

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