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MEASURES AIM TO TACKLE NEIGHBOURS' BAD BEHAVIOUR

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A new law aimed at curbing bad behaviour in the community potentially controvenes the European Convention on Human ...
A new law aimed at curbing bad behaviour in the community potentially controvenes the European Convention on Human Rights, claims The Guardian (G2, p5).

Esther Kelbie made British legal history this week by being the first recipient of an anti-social behaviour order, and now lives under the threat of a five-year prison sentence.

Under the Crime and Disorder Act, which introduced the ASBOs, magistrates are given a great deal of discretion over what they can put into an ASBO. Each order is tailored to whoever it applies to.

The scale of the problem of anti-social behaviour is such that today in Nottingham, council officials representing 1.9 million tenants around Britain, along with senior police officers, will meet to discuss how to come up with a national strategy for combating nuisance neighbours. Top of their agenda will be how they can be more efficient at serving.

According to a recent survey by the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, councils in England and Wales spend, at a conservative estimate, more than£15m a year on legal fees just to tackle this very problem.

Alternative approaches to pursuing nuisance neighbours through the courts are hard to find in Britain. It might seem strange that Dundee Council, the first council to obtain an ASBO, is also backing one of the most imaginative schemes in the country, aimed at 'curing' nuisance neighbours of their behaviour: the Dundee Families Project.

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