Shambles As Young Offenders Flout ASBO’s

Thousands of teenage criminals are escaping virtually unpunished because of failings in the new flagship system of “super-Asbos”. Almost 40 per cent of the 10,000 placed on the Independent Supervision and Surveillance Programme have broken the agreements keeping them out of jail.

But with young offenders’ institutions full, most get just a slap on the wrist and are kept on the programme.

Tory youth spokeswoman Justine Greening, who uncovered the shock figures, said: “It is unacceptable to have a breach rate that is getting on for 40 per cent. This is supposed to be a key plank of the youth justice system but it seems that it can be flouted with impunity. It is a shambles.”

ISSPs are aimed at the most persistent young offenders – including burglars, muggers and drug dealers. They are heavily supervised and must go to counselling sessions to deal with problems like drug and alcohol addiction.

A Youth Justice Board spokesman said the high rates reflected the fact the system was heavily monitored and any breaches detected. He said: “We are talking about the most troubled young people there are.”