Blunkett Admits Asbo Trend

The ex-minister who supervised a massive expansion in anti-social behaviour orders, David Blunkett, has admitted some young people regard the controversial measures as a “badge of honour”.

In an interview for Tonight With Trevor McDonald the former home secretary confessed he had lost some of the faith he previously held in the Government’s flagship measure.

He also said there was an argument for some problem estates to be “bulldozed” and backed suggestions that authorities should be able to intervene with tearaway children much earlier.

In an interview with his former Conservative shadow, Ann Widdecombe, he agreed that absolute curfews should be considered for children in some areas. He also defended his decision to reduce penalties for cannabis offences but indicated the policy would not “work everywhere”.

In the interview, Miss Widdecombe asked: “As Home Secretary you had great faith in Asbos. Do you still?” Mr Blunkett said: “Not wholly. I think they’ve worked in part but two other things need to happen. Firstly you need to combine them with a range of other criminal justice measures like the dispersal of curfew orders. Where that’s been done it’s worked much better.

“And secondly you actually do need the positive as well as the negative. If it’s only seen as a negative then youngsters actually do, and would see it as a badge of honour.”