ASBOS and social dileniation

The thrust on ASBOs, since they first emerged always seemed to be they were a law focussed on people in Social Housing, leaving louts in private homes largely untouched.

As the regulations on ASBOs have been developed and the focus of the legislation has become more illuminated, I am drawn more towards this conclusion.

Much emphasis is made on ASBOs about how those with the orders can find themselves thrown out of their rented accommodation, in some attempt to show the orders have some teeth.

I decided, that my perception needed a little more investigation, so contacted the Home Office to obtain some statistics, particularly in relation to the % of ASBOs cited against people living in Social Housing and as to how many ASBOs were instigated by Social Landlords, as other than the Police and Local Authority they are the only people able to instigate an ASBO.

While I was delighted with the speed of response by the Home Office statistics office, only a matter of a few days, the content was depressing.

'...Information is not collected centrally about the characteristics or circumstances of persons issued with an ASBO. ...'

In other words, the Government is continuing to pursue a line that ASBOs are effective because people can loose their homes, on an assumption, without any supporting evidence that ASBOs are directed at those living in Social Housing.

This is classic class warfare being conducted strangely by a party which claims to have equality at its heart.

We have a disgraceful situation in which a law enables Social Housing tenants to be evicted from their property, but homeowners can not be sanctioned in the same way.

This really is an us and them piece of legislation.

Why is it, that if I live near to someone who is of 'anti-social' (I will leave the term hanging in its connotation)and they live in Social Housing I can contact three sets of people to have action taken and if they continue to cause a problem they may be evicted, not on breach of tenancy agreement grounds, but on breach of ASBO grounds. However if that same person lives in private accommodation. I only have two ways to take action and that person can't be evicted on the grounds of breaching the ASBO.

I am not talking about changing the status of ASBOs to include legislation to enable state confiscation of homes for ASBO breaches, I would be one of the first to condemn such a move.

I am however disgusted to be living in a country in which the less well off face a set of laws, set by the state, not a question of access to representation, that doesn't apply to those who are better off.

As the Home Office Stats office doesn't have any available information on the social backgrounds of those with ASBOs, why does the Governnment and the Home Office in particular continue to focus sanctions against those who live in Social housing, while avoiding any meaningful sanctions against those in private accomodation?

I could imagine the 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' had ASBOs been introduced with the ability to evict home owners but not Social Housing tenants.

We already live in a fragmented Society with rafts of people being left to sink, legislation such as those which framework ASBOs are unforgiveble.


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