When the various bills went through parliament to set up Anti Social Behaviour Orders, the Liberal Democrats in parliament opposed them.
When those bills passed into law and the powers within were found to be rather useful and indeed popular with residents, (one survey reported that they were opposed by just 4% of the public) Liberal Democrats in local councils across the country discovered that they quite liked them. Their members on the GLA backed giving Transport for London the power to obtain ASBOs against those causing trouble on the trains or buses and LibDem peer Lord Dholakia suggested that they might be used to curb footballers' on-field excesses.
Even John Hemming admits that he likes them.
He accuses the government of having
no real idea of how to achieve things.But fear not, John has the answer. In a moment of clarity not given to us lesser mortals, he tells us that
if we want to reduce crime we need to deal with criminals.But that's not the best thing. John tells us that
In Birmingham when we took over (with the Conservatives) from Labour we substantially increased the number of ASBOs. However, that is as a tool to reduce anti-social behaviour rather than as an end in itself.On the other hand, that increase fuels Nick Clegg's anger..
These figures hide the fact that in many cases ASBOs are breached, raising questions about their use as a one-size fits all solution.
John also reveals that he's been tackling crime by gating off alleyways and schemes to reduce repeat burglaries. No mention that this has been funded by the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund - which is, of course, a Labour government initiative. Not even a word of thanks.
Mind you, he's got other things on his mind, now he's expanded his pension fund into 300 acres of Devonshire farmland - although in 2003, the Liberal Democrats were concerned about city-folk like Farmer John buying up agricultural land to buy their own private green belt.