Monday, September 28, 2009

The invention of "antisocial behaviour" has weakend the fight against crime

In the years before Labour came to power in 1997 they made much of the concept of "antisocial behaviour".

Many people worried that this concept would see the police concerning themselves low-level nuisance behaviour by children and teenagers - the sort of thing a healthy community deals with informally.

In fact, whenever "antisocial behaviour" was described by Labour politicians, it turned out to include elements of quite serious criminality - vandalism, aggressive begging and so on.

Superintendent Steve Harrod, head of criminal justice for Leicestershire Police, told the inquest into the deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter that:
"I'm not sure if people know but low-level anti-social behaviour is mainly the responsibility of the council."
This suggests that the result of the promotion of the concept of "antisocial behaviour" has not been the criminalisation of youthful mischief. Rather it has been that behaviour that was hitherto seen as criminal is now taken more lightly.

Chalk another one up to Tony Blair.

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