From today’s Guardian:
Police should be harassing badly behaved youths by openly filming them and hounding them at home to make their lives as uncomfortable as possible, the home secretary will say today.
The crime initiative is part of a government strategy to win back voters by proposing more radical approaches to tackling deep seated problems.
In a speech in London the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, will acknowledge that the number of antisocial behaviour orders being issued is falling, but will argue that there has been a shift to the use of parental orders instead.
As part of the crackdown on bad behaviour, she will urge police forces across the country to follow the example of Essex police, who have mounted four-day “frame and shame” operations by filming and repeatedly stopping identified persistent offenders on problem estates.
The programme in Essex has been successful, even though it may raise human rights issues about such tough tactics, especially if those harassed by the police have not been found guilty of any criminal offence.
Smith will say: “There is no let-up in tackling antisocial behaviour. We know that getting in early to stop troublemakers works, but I want stronger action to deal with persistent offenders. I want police and local agencies to focus on them by giving them a taste of their own medicine: daily visits, repeated warnings and relentless filming of offenders to create an environment where there is nowhere to hide.
“There can be no excuse for inaction while people still fear for the safety of the streets and estates where they live. We will do more to protect them. We all need to sharpen our resolve to tackle both the symptoms and the causes of antisocial behaviour.”
The government has been accused by the Conservatives of going soft on its previous “respect” agenda, closing down its respect unit and placing a new emphasis on youth clubs and play.
Read the whole sorry thing here.