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WHY CHILD CURFEWS MISS THE TARGET

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James Clappison, the Conservative education spokesman, has said that rather than issuing 'reminders' to local autho...
James Clappison, the Conservative education spokesman, has said that rather than issuing 'reminders' to local authorities on child curfew orders, Jack Straw, the home secretary, would do well to look at the defects in the legislation itself.

In a letter to The Guardian (p21), Mr Clappison writes: 'The curfews can only be made in respect of children under 10. It was surprising that Tony Blair apparently selected thse curfews as hs policy response to teenage pregnancies.

'They were not, of course, designed to deal with teenage pregnancies but with unruly behaviour.' He says the use made of anti-social behaviour orders is hardly more encouraging.

'The very small number of orders made so far may well be a reflection of the pressures on our diminishing police force. No doubt strenuous efforts will now made by central government to promote the use of ASBOs.

'No one should object to the curbing of genuinely anti-social behaviour. However, the legal basis of the orders is so vague and poorly defined that they could be used against a wide variety of behaviour including that which is merely eccentric and different, and not just the sort of anti-social behaviour ministers say they have in mind.'
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