ASBO: an effective weapon against fear?

Tom Kelly argues that one of the victims of the last thirty years has been respect for others. This he argues has real and positive effects on working class communities where ASBOs have proved popular in England. In Northern Ireland this has been compounded by the additional effects of long term paramiltary control in certain working class areas:

Whatever about the low crime rates in the north – the fear and type of some crime has changed; add into the mix the fear in some areas of reporting crime and it’s the offender who is top dog.

Paramilitary groups have a lot to answer for the break down in respect for authority. Proof if proof was needed exists in areas like west and north Belfast where the severity of action taken by paramilitaries on ‘joy riders’ does not act as a deterrent. But then again why would it – when those same ‘joy riders’ come in handy when called upon for a spot of recreational violence against the police or the other side.

Today the balance of rights has spiralled out of control. We live in a world where not only have we stripped teachers of authority but we have challenged a parent’s right to choose reasonable disciplinary measures for their own children. Victims live in fear while repeat violatators enjoy the benefits of parole under the beneficence of liberal magistrates.

  • Betty Boo

    An interesting post concerning this issue was made by Tomas Maguire at May 30, “Northern Catholic women over three times as likely to be unemployed” (sorry, I don’t know how to make the link).
    Anti social behaviour left me living in fear but Tomas’ solution seems to me to be the only long term one. And there are no quick fixes for what has been growing for years and left uncared for.
    Getting tougher on offenders does make offenders only tougher.

    There is a profound lack of facilities for young people. Giving them realistic opportunities and prospects, addressing their interests and therefore reducing the grounds for further anti social behaviour will take time.
    As much as there is an imitate stop needed to this sort of behaviour, asbo’s are only shovelling the problem to someone else, who might not even have the trust of the community. Respect for Gardai in Donegal is on an all time low.

  • fair_deal

    “Today the balance of rights has spiralled out of control. We live in a world where not only have we stripped teachers of authority but we have challenged a parent’s right to choose reasonable disciplinary measures for their own children. Victims live in fear while repeat violatators enjoy the benefits of parole under the beneficence of liberal magistrates.”

    Hear, hear – yet the SDLP don’t think they can find common ground with the DUP for a voluntary coalition, I wonder why?

    Betty Boo

    I volunteer in a youth club in an interface area in Belfast but while it has some impact on negative behaviour it will never provide the sole answer. Neither carrot nor stick but both.

  • Betty Boo

    I work for a carnival group in Donegal. It gets them of the street for a very short time.
    Just a couple of days ago I paid my favourite place a visit, Grianan Aileach, an ancient ring fort in Inishowen, just to find out that stone are taken out of the monument, both from the top of the walls as well as from inside the passage ways.
    It hurts to see Grianan like that and it creates anger and frustration to see friends affected by vandalism and violence.
    The son of a friend got beaten up at a dance because he was too tall.
    My son is the same age and I am beyond worrying for his future, I fear for it.
    Statistically he has a very good chance to get injured or killed.
    And still I do believe that there must be better solutions then aspo’s.