Asbos – anti-social behaviour orders – are civil orders tailored by UK courts against a named individual, forbidding him or her from repeating specific “anti-social” acts. Breaking the Asbo could land the offender in prison.
As Asbos become more widespread, the courts have become more inventive about how to frame such orders, BBC News Online Magazine is keeping an eye on the most unusual uses for antisocial behaviour orders:
– A 21-year-old car thief was banned from sporting a woolly hat, baseball cap or hooded top after officials told Teesside magistrates it was crucial he should not be able to disguise himself from CCTV operators and police. The man was also banned from entering car parks. (Btw, Burberry has recently decided to check out of baseball caps to deter hooligan fans.)
– a Londoner who had stolen from elderly people after entering their homes by posing as a milkman, a policeman, or simply by asking for a glass of water was banned from knocking on the front door of any home in Britain,
– in the Midlands, a middle-aged couple banned from playing gangsta rap or swearing in front of children after upsetting staff and parents at a nearby nursery.
– a ban from all NHS buildings was handed to a man with a fetish for medical supplies, after he tried to get hold of surgical masks on 47 occasions this year alone.