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A leading children's charity has accused councils of issuing unclear anti-social behaviour orders to children....
A leading children's charity has accused councils of issuing unclear anti-social behaviour orders to children.

Children's Society policy director Kathy Evans has claimed some ASBOs are 'subjective'. Her accusation comes as last week the high court said Manchester City Council should not have given a 13-year-old boy an ASBO that simply banned him from committing any sort of anti-social behaviour within its boundaries.

Lord Justice Richards upheld the order, but said its original version lacked specifics and so 'was incapable of being understood'.

Ms Evans has suggested other councils are also guilty of issuing vague orders. She said: 'We are very concerned about the subjective nature of ASBOs.

'If punishments are created, individuals must know clearly what behaviour will incur them, and it is not clear to children.'

Manchester's housing director Steve Rumbelow said that since the high court case arose last year the council had clarified that orders are applied to behaviour that 'causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress'.

The council recently attracted controversy after Home Office figures showed it had issued 391 orders, almost double that at any other council.

Martin Narey, chief executive of the children's charity Barnardos, said the figures proved that in some areas ASBO use had become routine and, 'is unnecessarily catapulting children into a custodial system [where] the chances of rehabilitation are extremely slim and the chances of deeper criminalisation very likely'.

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