Anti social behavior

Chapter 1- Introduction

1.1 Background Information

The subject of anti-social behaviour has received a great deal of attention from politicians and within the media in recent years. Politicians to the left and the right of politics have called for tough action to be taken against perpetrators in order to reduce the level of nuisance they cause to society as a whole. Within academic criminology, however, it is argued that ASBOs have the effect of criminalising individuals, and fostering intolerance towards minor offences and could be used to label people who behave differently (e.g. mentally ill people) or who are deemed undesirable within an area due to their culture or behaviour (e.g. homosexuals or youths). (Fitzgibbon, 2004; Millie, 2009; Muncie, 2006; Squires, 2008).

This dissertation will argue that whilst these Orders were introduced for the purpose of improving the quality of life in civil society, the evidence available suggests that they do indeed succeed in criminalising individuals for engaging in behaviour which is not criminal. Because, although the behaviour itself is not a crime, breaching the conditions of their ASBO is a crime and, as we shall see, with over 40 per cent of individuals in breach of such Orders, it is clear that in the absence of ASBOs many individuals might never have come to the attention of the criminal justice system.

This chapter will focus on the basic aspects associated with the research topic. These are explored in this section to give the reader a brief overview of the dissertation and how this research will be carried out. The relevant keywords are discussed to provide a thorough guide to the research topic.

1.2 Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)

The Anti-Social Behaviour Order is a social order issued against an individual who has been discovered, through a lawful procedure, to be engaged in an Anti Social Behaviour (The Youth Affairs Council of South Australia, 2007). The Order, according to Youth affairs council Australia might prohibit definite behaviours, such as access to a particular area, worshipping with particular persons, or other behaviour considered as anti-social. ASBOs have been obtainable for application in England and Wales since 1999 and it is the UK model that has been projected for adoption in South Australia (Barry C., 1999).

The number of ASBOs issued in the UK was considered to be low; however since 2003 it has enlarged considerably when new law, The Crime and Disorder Act 2003, was introduced in the area.

In the UK, anti-social behaviour is distinct as whatever acts are likely to lead to crime, pestering or terror according to Maguire et al (2002). No doubt, such description is open to disconcertingly extensive and inconsistent understandings; it has resulted in behaviours such as playing football in the road, or being sarcastic to one's neighbours being considered as anti-social. ASBOs have been implemented in conditions that restrain free speech and liberty of involvements.

As previously noted, whilst an ASBO is a social order, issued on the basis of non-criminal behaviour, violating an ASBO is a crime. Characteristically, an individual according to The Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (2007) will contravene an ASBO by continuing to engage in the similar non-criminal behaviour that earned them the ASBO in the first place. In this mode, ASBOs have the consequence of criminalizing behaviour that would otherwise not be against the law. As academics such as (Fitzgibbon, 2004; Millie, 2009; Muncie, 2007; Squires, 2008) etc. have differentiated it, ASBOs have the results of creating novel and tailor-made crimes for the persons to whom they are applied.

1.3 Do ASBOs decrease anti-social behaviour?

All the parties in UK have shown a great deal in antisocial behaviour in the last decade. Bright et al (2005) points out that the purpose of ASBOs is to decrease anti-social behaviour through the insertion of an order on a person or persons. Undoubtedly, in the most winning occasion this will not limit all anti-social behaviour but only that anti-social behaviour connected with the pertinent order. Data from the UK point out that more than four in ten ASBOs issued are violated. This forms a breakdown rate of almost 50% again just in relation to the anti-social behaviour connected with orders functional (Welsh, 2003). Rules such as ASBOs do not put off difficult behaviours, because they do not speak to the cause of the behaviour. In fact, the evidence suggests that in some cases ASBOs aggravate pre-existing troubles and generate new ones, with ASBOs sometimes being accepted as a “medal of honour” by certain groups and individuals (BBC News, 2006 [online]).

According to Goldson and Muncie (2006:70), evidence from the UK point outs that “ASBOs work to decrease anti-social behaviour only when they are functional in conjunction with prior interference programmes, support for behavioural alteration, education, programmes that counter to the reasons of the behaviour, and distraction programmes for young people”. This raises the obvious question: is it actually the ASBOs that are working?

1.4 Other implications risen from ASBOs

According to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 ASBOs can be placed on anybody over the age of ten. Therefore, breaching the orders might result in a prison sentence of up to five years or, for those below 17 years of age, custody and training order of up to two years (Crime and Disorder Act 1998). This is a noteworthy episode out of the life of any young person. According to The Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (2007) data from the UK indicates that one in four people who have an ASBO placed upon them end up in jail. With more than four in ten ASBOs functional in the UK being contravened, this may not be a shocking outcome. This evidence supports the argument that ASBOs do lead to the criminalisation of individuals in society. We have a compulsion to think about what role ASBOs take to affect the life of an individual

1.5 Prostitution and ASBOs

Prostitution and kerb crawling results in irritation and anti-social behaviour and can direct road and inhabited areas into turn down. ASB Practitioners HO (2010) argue that sexual goings-on from street sex market can take place in vacant car parks, play grounds and private gardens, and kerb crawling is frequently a difficulty in these areas. Therefore, it has been noted that residential areas can experience annoyance and interruption when nearby houses are used for prostitution and drug dealing.

At some stage according ASB Practitioners HO (2010) in one-day the “total of anti-social behaviour carried out in September 2003 covering kerb crawling, soliciting, prostitutes' cards in phone booth, surplus condoms and unsuitable sexual acts, 1,099 reports connected to prostitution were traced, signifying 274,750 reports per year”.

Anti-social behaviour takes place from prostitution, in specified street sex markets, can comprise loud and offensive arguments between prostitutes and their clients, and oral abuse of prostitutes and local people (Squires, 2008). Waste connected with prostitution can consist of used condoms, and, where drug dealing is there, unclean needles and other drug belongings. Kerb-crawling is increased by street prostitution and frequently slows down the stream of traffic resulting in irritation, annoyance and threats to people in the neighbourhood. Prostitute clients will often incorrectly centre their attention on other women passing by, and prostitutes will focus on men who are not potential customers.

In regions where prostitution occurs, people can experience fear going about their everyday business and will frequently have their sleep disturbed at night by traffic, sound and turmoil (Hooper, 2001). The annoyance has a degenerative consequence, making an area disagreeable and dangerous and deterring families and businesses from moving in. The crash on property values and insurance payments is noteworthy and the collective consequences of all these factors add to a spiral of turn down in the region.

Agencies according to ASB Practitioners (2010) require taking enforcement acts to defend groups of people from the annoyance connected with prostitution and drug dealing in inhabited areas. Therefore, enthusiastic action should be taken in opposition to kerb-crawlers.

Kerb crawling is a crime under s1 of the Sexual Offences Act 1985 and s1 of the Supremacy of the Criminal Courts Act 2000 can ban kerb crawlers from driving as part of their verdict. Prostitutes watchfulness can be used or, where the annoyance is determined and severe, anti-social behaviour instructions (ASBOs). In regions facing noteworthy public irritation, civil ban under s222 of the Local Government Act 1972 can be used. Housing properties used for selling and using Class A drugs (such as heroin or cocaine) can be blocked by the law using closure powers under s1-11 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

1.6 Minor disobediences

Over the past decade, young people have accounted for a bigger part of aggressive illegal actions than ever before (British Crime Survey, 2008). In reply to the increase in youthful misdeeds, the public has insisted that violent young lawbreakers are held responsible for their actions. To conciliate popular support for greater responsibility, lots of state governing bodies, such as the police, community safety teams and local authorities, endorsed Acts commanding larger chastisement on juveniles (Moore, 2001). This contemporary disciplinary move toward adolescent criminal behaviour, though, disagrees with their facilitative viewpoint in history underlying youthful fairness.

When state government first established adolescent courts at the close of the nineteenth century, the majority acts of criminal behaviour mixed up with relatively minor bad behaviour. Nowadays, kids of all ages hold weaponry to school and commit offence of fighting. The aggressive nature of modern adolescent criminal behaviour presents a future bigger danger to society (Randall, 2002). Furthermore, distinct customary acts of delinquency, such as severe violence results in noteworthy damage not only to the sufferers of aggression but also to the nearby society. This plays a role in raising the numbers of public in the illegal justice system and whether this is a suitable, effectual or reasonable answer to behaviour that may be anti-social but which is not illegal. According to Muncie (2007), evidence from the UK also points out the unbalanced application of ASBOs. Whilst Muncie notes that to date there has been no thorough assessment finished in the UK of the effects of ASBOs on dissimilar inhabitants or groups, there is noteworthy undeniable proof to put forward that young people and people from ethnically and linguistically miscellaneous backgrounds have been unreasonably impacted by ASBOs (Welsh, 2003). This supports the theory proposed by Young (1999) that the poor and ethnic minorities are disproportionately targeted by the police, and the argument of Pearson (1983) that it is the behaviour of the lower social classes that is the cause of most concern to the authorities.

Since the programme's beginning, more than four in ten ASBOs have been applied to people below the age of 17. Research from the United States suggests that the most effectual method to shore up young people as they shift out of criminal behaviour is by redirecting them away from offense and the criminal justice system through interference and deterrence programmes. This is in line with the theory of Gottfredson and Hirschi (1997) which suggests that poor socialisation of young people leads them towards crime. Though, in the UK ASBOs also incorporate the alternative to name and shame, which consists of the person, who is subject to the ASBO having their photograph and information, posted on the Internet and spread to their society through leaflets and advertising material. This has taken place to persons as young as 10 years old. According to a study by the British Institute for Brain Wounded Children demonstrated that just about 35% of ASBOs have been applied to young people with an analyzed psychological illness or learning disability (Blyth, and Soloman, 2009). This would emerge to quite evidently show that many ASBOs are issued on the basis of behaviour that is a sign of a deeper, primary issue and that, in such cases, ASBOs are an unsuitable answer and leads to the criminalisation of such individuals.

1.7 What are additional worries related to ASBO?

In spite of what can be the severe consequences of having an ASBO, the balance of evidence necessary for an ASBO to be applied is not the same as that requisite for illegal offences. Rumour proof can be listening to support applications for ASBOs, with the consequence that 99 out of every 100 applications for ASBOs in the UK are approved (Hooper, 2001). Whilst ASBOs were firstly popular in the UK, this fame has been moving back as their impact has turned out to be apparent. ASBOs comprise a disciplinary reply to behaviour that is very frequently underpinned by other matters. Through their disciplinary nature, ASBOs manage as a system for not including those very people that we are working to re-connect with their societies.

1.8 Research Aims and Objectives

Aim of the research

The research aims to explore the concept of anti social behaviour orders and answer the research question, “By using ASBOs, are we criminalising our society”?

Research Objective

In order to attain the aims of the research, the researcher has formulated the research objective that considers whether using ASBOs for minor transgressions criminalises our society, in particular our youth, because even though the ASBO itself is a social order, violation of an ASBO is a crime.

1.9 Disposition

This dissertation begins with the introduction chapter to give a brief of the research topic. This chapter consists of the basics relevant to the research topic. The anti social behaviour order is discussed in brief followed by the impact that it can have on the society. This is followed by the literature review chapter that describes the previously conducted researches in the same arena. Chapter 3 discusses the research methodology used for this dissertation followed by the analysis. Finally, chapter 5 concludes the dissertation.

Chapter 2- Literature Review

2.1 Anti Social Behaviour factors

2.1.1 Crime

According to British Crime Survey in the year 1996, one in five adults were very bothered about being burglarized or mugged which points out that the Crime is high on the public list of concerns. These fears are equal to the fear of job loss, and feature in political surveys.

The figure of young lawbreakers aged 10-17, years those who were observed or found culpable in court has decreased from 1983-1994 by 50000. On the other hand, crimes, which are unreported, appear to be going up fast. The British Crime Survey assessed both reported and unreported offences, and as a result provides a self-determining way of measuring crime separately from police records. It works by a sequence of random discussions with people over 16. As per the British Crime Survey, stealing, robbery and physical attack went up by 73% between 1981 and 1995. These are crimes against individuals and amount to 19 million resentments or hurt a year. A parallel survey of sellers and producers in 1993 projected that there were an additional 9 million crimes. More serious offences are still very uncommon.

2.1.2 Young people

According to the British Crime SurveyTwo out of each five recognized criminals were below the age of 21 and a quarter were below 18 in the year 1994 and in the year 1993, 22,200 boys aged 10 to 13 and 78,000 boys aged 14 to 17 were found culpable or cautioned, evaluated with 7,700 girls aged 10 to 13 and 21,600 girls aged 14 to 17. As a ratio of the population, this is 1. 7% of all boys aged 10 to 13; 6.4% of boys aged 14 to 17; 0.62% of girls aged 10 to 13; and 1.9% of girls aged 14 to 17 (Great Britain, 2007). The most familiar crimes carried out by young people were robbery, taking cars and shoplifting.

An additional way of discovering how many young people were occupied is to ask them in secret interviews. It is frequently argued that the official records are only the tip of the iceberg. In one survey 67% of boys confessed at least one crime between age of 15 to 18 where as 39% confessed shoplifting between ages l0 to l4 (House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, 2007). Minor against the law behaviour is very much a characteristic of teenage years, as is informal use of soft drugs for a few young people. The greater parts of teenagers grow out of criminal behaviour moderately rapidly.

2.1.3 Offenders

Most young people grow out of crime. The greater parts of criminals are cautioned, which involves a lecture from a police official in the presence of a parent or other suitable adult. 80% of those who are watched do not come to police notice again. But it becomes less effectual once a prototype of aberrant sets in. What features which might show the way of a young person towards crime? All the studies, which has been conducted on why young people might commit crime points in a similar way (Hunter et al, 2007). It involves not operating normally or properly, families deprived of educational accomplishment at school, absenteeism, the unenthusiastic influence of peer groups, drug mistreatment, and a low possibility of getting an occupation. Gottfredson and Hirschi (1997) argued that we can recognize both from experience and investigation the features which make it probable that young people will become mixed up in offending.

2.1.4 Family Factors and Socialisation

According to Gil-Robles (2005), children brought up in families with negligent parental management and in poor neighbourhoods are at greatly elevated risk of crimes. It is contradictory parental discipline, where, for example, one parent states one thing and the other something else, which also generates troubles (see also Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1997). There is a lack of apparent limitations. These pressures are made distant not as much by hardship, and the uncertainty of being without a job, but also by poor physical conditions and low earnings. Yet children are gradually more facing scarcity (Gil-Robles A, 2005). The number of children living in residences with less than the standard national earnings in the UK has moved up from 16% to 33% between 1981 and 1992. Families, who are underprivileged, where neither parent has an employment, are particularly under pressure. Where parenting fractures down and there is unkindness, mistreatment, cruel or unpredictable obedience, children will be far more susceptible to cause offence. As young people deteriorate their binds with their families, they are again more probable to cause offence.

Investigation has discovered that children who reside in a single parent or step parent family are more at danger of offending than those who reside with both natural parents. This is not a straight effect of the family structure itself: there is a whole number of grounds why the management of children is more complicated in these situations (Campbell, S., 2002). The absence of one parent may make family relations more complicated.

2.2 Arrest case for loud sex

A case study in Israel conducted by Fyler (2010) comes under anti social behaviour orders. The case is related to a couple who were arrested for having loud sex in the night time. All the neighbours claimed for their anti- social behaviour to police. The case tells that people, who live in the area of Hankin Street within Holon, were disturbed in the midnight just by hearing loud sound that was coming from an apartment within their area. They called the police and then police officers went to the selected place. Then police officers accused and showed their aggressive behaviours to them. The lady, who was accused for her anti social behaviours, answered them angrily, though the police officers were annoyed. The officers slapped them and also charged the fine of about 100 dollars. The position escalated when the woman asked the female police officer whether she did not make these types of sounds at the time of having sexual intercourse.

The topic did not end there because lots of things took place that time. When the couple went downstairs after giving a fine, they were asked for giving their ID. But again they refused to give this and were hit and placed in a cruiser of police. The couple was put in the police custody and criminal record was filed as anti social behaviours to insult police officers. They were charged to be kept in jail for time of about six months. The couple stayed within police custody until the next afternoon.

The young woman said that she was hurt by police officer at the time of asking the lady whether she did not make any loud voice at the time of intercourse. Then she must have the power to hurt them greatly. She also told that this case was aggressive type because the lady keeps security linked place. It was unbelievable for the couple that they had not made any criminal record before and police made in just a moment. The police officer can come at the homes of citizens and can make any civilian from a normal person into the criminal. The police officer told that the couple mainly was jailed due to their questioning attitude just after shouting at officers who came at their designations because of disturbing sounds which was complained about by neighbours. And also the couple refused to provide their personal identify.

A somewhat similar story was discussed by BBC (2010) about the anti social behaviour by a woman named Caroline Cartwright. She had been caught for the fourth time after receiving warnings against her loud sounds during her night life with her husband. She used to play loud music and scream loudly during sexual activities. In spite of the complaints against her on a regular basis, she had not improved in her habits. The woman stated that she changed her sex hours from night time to early morning so as to minimize the disturbance but the noise is not in her control. She had been caught for 25th time and the court listened to her recorded sound of screaming and making loud noise during sex (The Telegraph, 2009). This demonstrates the anti social behaviour affecting lives of individuals in a negative manner for their sex behaviour.

(Please refer to appendix 4).

2.3 Anti-social behaviour

Many new measures were found which were innovative but also troublesome so as to curb the problems faced by various public media, criminal justice agencies. As per the Section One of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 a notion was developed that people who created a nuisance whereby their behaviour was considered as anti-social, for example a person started acting in an anti social way when the Act was commenced and his/her behaviour affects one or more person or if a person behaves in such a manner that it causes harassment to the other people in the society which in turn leads to other anti-social behaviour (Fitzgibbon, 2004).

Though if a person behaves in an anti social manner then it is a subjective matter and they are given labels to all those who are unwanted people as they behave in a bad manner with others because of their background or nature and do not follow any law and order. But as per the Carrabine and Lee (2009) sometimes it can be fruitful for the people who are weak and are not allowed to participate in various cultural or political events and also for all those who are less popular but there are chances that these people may get diverted in the wrong direction as they can become a victim of gossips, other bad activities such as prejudice, or prostitution.

Whether or not it may be good for such people, the risks associated with such practices can mislead a person and lead to further crime and criminalisation. For example, the labelling perspective suggests that once a label has been successfully applied to an individual it can lead to that individual taking on the label as their “master status” (Becker, 1967). They can begin to behave in ways that fit in with the label. The situation can spiral out of control when the parents of their friends and neighbours do not allow their children to associate with the delinquent child, so all that they have left is other youths who also have ASBOs. This can lead to them continuing the bad behaviour, breaching the ASBO and ending up with a criminal record.

According to Fitzgibbon (2004) the other concern with regard to the same Section One of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is the person who behaves “likely” and creates nuisance. Such people are then regarded as mentally unfit and the risk of encouraging anti-social behaviour increases so now it depends on the person whether they do want to do all those actions which can categorize them among criminals or as a likely criminal. However, whatever it may be the consequences in both categories are real and same the person is finally considered as a criminal offender.

The order regarding anti-social behaviour is effective only for two years at least which in turn can help in curbing such acts with the help of the courts or local authorities which is required so as to protect from anti-social acts. But if a person breaches the order then he/she is punished either by having to pay fine or be imprisoned for about 6 months (Vito et al., 2006). But this is not the only the matter of concern.

There are other sections which are concerned with the procedure of naming the potential risky people and also civil observation which deals with youth crime and disorder. So for this purpose various powers are given to people like a child should be under the restriction or control of child curfew schemes, parenting orders and power to eradicate the reason for such behaviour. All these powers are being provided to people so as to put an end on anti social behaviour which is unacceptable on the part of young people (Fitzgibbon, 2004). So for the same purpose a multi-professional Young Offender Team has come up so to encourage communication and observation of young people and their behaviour who fall under the category of Criminal Justice System? Not only this but new orders like Child Safety Orders u/s 11,12,13 have been designed so as to provide guidance and control the children under the age of ten years under the supervision of Young Offender Team so that they are diverted towards all those practices which in turn can harm others. So the Young Offender Team is finally responsible for their ill behaviour and this has been already legal under the law and orders for same has been issued by the Criminal Justice System. But somewhere or the other it has hampered the social freedom and it has been argued that curfew is wrong and a very biased act because it will affect the young people adversely as they will be considered as criminals at such a young age and will be treated indifferently.

Along with this another measure was developed regarding parenting of such children in order to keep an eye on their activities and find out if their children are often absent in school which can develop anti-social behaviour in them and for this purpose orders have been issued by the courts regarding parenting of such children. It restricts the parents to be supervised by a responsible officer of Young Offender Team for a week for continuous three months. Here the officer provides directions to the parents which are provided by the court and if they are not followed then those parents will be penalized with an amount of 1000 pounds (Walklate, 2007).

These orders have been developed out of a consultation paper Tackling Youth Crime in which it was emphasized that it is the responsibility of the parents for controlling the behaviour of their children and if they do not then they are punishable in the eyes of law. So therefore the parents are advised to be guided and trained which will enhance the control ability of parents over their children and will help in improving the lifestyle and avoid their children becoming criminals. Thus this order can further help in other sections of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which emphasizes that such orders can help in controlling the behaviour of the young at an early age which in turn will help in preventing violent or sexual harassment behaviour and secure remedies to tackle anti-social behaviour (Millie, 2009). Hence, any person found behaving in such a manner then such offenders are required to be registered in local police for thirty months or their entire life as the court imposes. These people are to be observed and monitored strictly as there are chances of repeating such behaviour. Not only this, but such people should also register themselves by experimentation. As this will help in developing a strong system with speedy exchange of information and dual approaches to manage the risk associated with such people.

The anti-social behaviour is defined by the Crime and Disorder Act that anti-social behaviour includes all those actions which cause harassment or distress to the people around (Matthews et al., 2007). But the British Crime Survey defines it as it consists of seven following actions like: abandoned cars, noisy neighbours, drunkenness among youth, nuisance, litter and vandalism and graffiti. Though the overall anti social behaviour is stable since past few years, 17% of people in 2008-09 saw a high level of disorder or anti-social behaviour which was very marginally higher than the previous year. This can be seen from the following table:

Source: Crime in England and Wales (2009)

So in order to curb the anti social behaviour a new type of order was introduced Anti Social Behaviour Orders. These are the orders which are available to the police and other local authorities since April 1999. These orders are granted for a minimum of two years, and are issued by courts.

In July 2009 figures were released by the Home Office regarding ASBO's from April 1999 to December 2007 (Matthews et al., 2007):

From April 1999 to December 2007 approximately 14,972 ASBOS were introduced in England and Wales.

Ø In 2006 and 2005 there was decrease in ASBOS by 15% and 44% respectively.

Ø ASBOs were being used for various purposes all over the country. The rate of issue of such orders was seven times higher in greater Manchester than Dyfed-Powys, Lincolnshire or Wiltshire.

Ø Maximum of ASBOS were introduced to check men and their behaviour and out of all 14% were for women.

Ø Around 6028 in June 2000 ASBOs were against people under the age 18 out of which 44% were against people whose age was not known and 43% were on people under the age 18 years and 28% on women.

Ø For adult ASBOs 53% of cases were issued for two to three years as compared to 68% of the people under the age of 18 years.

Ø From June 2000 to December 2007 around 7981 people had breached the ASBOs for the first time which showed a breach rate of 53%.

Ø In June 2000 it was found that on 32400 occasions ASBOs were breached by 4.1 times in both England and Wales.

Ø Around 53% of people who breached ASBOs were given custodial sentence which was on an average of 5.3 months.

Source: Home office (2010)

Where are they issued and to whom?

Though a huge variation is found in the usage of ASBOs all over the country, which may be due to lack of strategic support, disillusionment and variety of approaches used to tackle or control the anti-social behaviour. It is applicable for all those people who act against the society and trouble other people. However the following chart shows the majority of ASBOs are introduced for men and out of all 14% is for women.

Source: Home office (2010)

Duration of order

Minimum duration for any order is two years and it can be made for many number of years as it is decided by the court after considering the age, the impact of the anti-social behaviour, how long the order goes on and response of the measures undertaken to eradicate such behaviour. Following Chart 3 shows ASBOs introduced from June 2000 to December 2007 58% are issued for two to three years.

Source: Home office (2010)

Who issues ASBOs?

The authority to issue ASBOs is the police and local authority, transport police and social landlords, Housing Action Trusts. They issued in the magistrate courts [97%], criminal courts on a person who has convicted of a criminal offence. In Dec 2005 42% were issued on application, 58% on conviction out of 42% two-third were used by local authority.

Source: Home Office (2010)

Chapter 3- Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

The previous chapter discussed all concepts related to crime and youth crime and it has also discussed anti social behaviour orders (ASBO). The current chapter will discuss how the observed data was gathered and produced. It discusses the methodology that is used for the proposed research study. It gives an indication about the approaches that can be used to achieve the aims and objectives of the study. It also outlines the research approach used for the current study. Primary data was collected in the study. Based on the data collection methods, the desired results were obtained. For the primary data collection, questionnaire and interview methods were used as research tools.

3.2 Aims & Objectives

Aim of the research

The research here aims to explore the concept of Anti Social Behaviour orders and answer the research question: “By using the ASBO, are we criminalizing our society”?

Research Objective

The objective of the research is to discover whether, using ASBOs for minor incivilities has the effect of criminalising individuals within society, and particularly young people, for behaviours which are not criminal but can result in a criminal record when these Orders are breached.

3.3 Research strategy-Case study

In order to study the true meaning of research study, one should understand the meaning of the word strategy (Bergh and Ketchen, 2009). It means planning the course of action so that one can reach the desired result and research strategy means how the research should be undertaken or how the steps are to be taken so that one can reach its research objective. Therefore research strategy is the integral part of research design without which one cannot obtain the objectives determined. It basically understands and finds out the way to attain the research objective. One of the methods of research strategy is the case study method which includes both single (where a particular case is evaluated) and multiple case study method (where more than one case study is evaluated) in which all those case studies which are researched before becomes the basis of future research undertaken.

Thus case study methods are the basic layout with the standard results which gives us the idea of the expected results as it includes strong theories which support the process of research. Today it has become an integral part of the research and development process as it helps in understanding the situation in much better and meaningful way (Scruggs and Mastropieri, 2006). This method is not only the reliable mode of analysis for analysts but it helps the researcher to get rid of the biased views (if in any case). Thus the case study method is adopted by taking the old research as reference plus the alternative sources of research to get better outcomes so as to achieve the objective of the study. Thus it not only contributes to the knowledge of individual, group, organizational, social and political views but also forms the basis of future research to be undertaken so as to achieve the desired objective.

3.4 Research approach

Exploratory Research

Exploratory, as the word implies, explains to explore or to go into the depth of the subject. So when the researcher is not sure of the events or when he has little or no control over such events and is not clearly defined of the results then exploratory research is undertaken thus it explores the information from the context itself which is the best option to find a solution to any problem. The main objective of this approach is to estimate or predict the future outcome and it also explains the reason as to why that outcome has occurred. Thus it is a valuable approach as it determines the happenings of a particular event, person or situation (Yin, 1994).

Random sampling method was used to collect primary data from London Streets. The sample size was earlier expected to be 100. However, due to lack of time and financial resources, this was reduced to 67. Furthermore, after the collection of all primary data it was noted that some of the questionnaires were not filled completely, which meant that those 7 questionnaires were excluded from the study.

During collection of this data, the most problematic scenario was when individuals, while responding, were not relying much on the questionnaire. However, I had promised the respondents that their personal information would not be disclosed and the anonymity would be maintained completely. This helped in collection of responses. Please refer to Appendices 1- 3 for the questionnaire.

3.5 Validity and Reliability of study

In 1994, Yin found that a good research design should have 4 things to judge: its quality i.e. internal validity, construct validity, external validity and reliability. He also stated that if another researcher goes for the same study having same or related topic and he undertakes the research in the same manner as taken by the previous researchers then he will have the same result. In 1994, Churchill stated that reliability refers to the measures of quality as it highlights the impact of inconsistency in the measurement of outcomes. Then it was in 2002 Silverman stated that validity can have alternate meaning of truth, so it would be better to compare the actual outcomes with the standard outcomes to see the validity and finally in 2003, Malhotra and Birks stated that reliability is the more the number of times the same thing is researched again and again with the same process then it will give more reliable results.

Therefore, for better validity and reliability various methods of collecting data were adopted like interviews were supported by literature review, questionnaires were tested before taking interviews, easy language was used so as to avoid any wrong interpretation and it becomes easy for the interviewee to give interview. Then for reliability it was necessary that the interviewee should have the basic knowledge of ASBOs, biased questions were avoided.

3.6 Strengths of the methodology

* Is data presented graphically or verbatim?

The qualitative data which was collected by using questionnaire and an interview method will be analysed and interpreted by looking at several common phenomenon (Duval, 2004). Then it will be grouped into broad categories along with aims and objectives of the research study (So, Lin & Poston, 2001). Several responses that may be attained from interviews maybe presented as verbatim. It is known as giving examples of different types of opinions as well as answers given by respondents or other people (Jafari, 2000).

* Representation of data either factual or interpretative?

Data as well as information which were collected by using interview or questionnaire methods may be of interpretative type (Holden, 2003). It may be the perception of researcher to interview less number of people, then it would not be possible for him/her to provide examples on the basis of small quantity, so interpretive type of data is required to be analysed for drawing out meaningful conclusions (Lucas, 2003).

3.7 Weakness of the methodology

* Has analysis been done on the basis of findings?

The analysis of this research study was the basic combination of the findings and gathered primary data. The main reason for collecting primary data was that this topic is not available on internet and cannot be received by using secondary sources in a thorough manner.

* Analysis either analytical or descriptive?

The data gathered in entire study was not descriptive due to the small amount as well as less availability of qualitative data, so the researcher successfully can ensure that the conclusions were analytical (Goddard and Melville, 2004). It became possible due to the collection of quantitative data alone.

3.8 Ethical Issues

It is always seen that to attain certain objectives people often forget the society as to what will and to how much extent it will affect the society around them which if resulted positive makes the research valid or else it becomes invalid. So there are certain rules to be followed which are called ethics to be adopted to attain certain objectives and for research to be undertaken these points must be kept in mind they are:

1. Voluntary participation

When the people participate in the research process should come up on their own i.e. voluntarily and there should not be any force on the person in any way.

2. Informed consent

This ethical issue gives the meaning to take prior permission of the person which means since the people participating in the research process belong to different organizations so it is obvious that on receiving the necessary information their consent is essential before we use that data in our study so the researcher should inform the person that the information provided by them is being used and if they refuse then the information should not be used (Kothari, 2008).

3. Confidentiality

This means keeping the information safe and private as there are always chances or risk of leakage of information which is quite normal so the data or the information collected should be kept in a confidential manner, as these data or information are kept as records for future references (Phillimore & Goodson, 2004).

4. Anonymity

When the people participate in research process they should not be known by the researcher personally as it makes the study all the more containing biased data or information so to avoid the biasness the researcher should take the sample or interview people who are not known to him (Walle, 1998).

5. Falsification of Data

It means putting one's opinion prior and manipulating the data accordingly (Pohl & Muller, 2002). This is the biggest issue when a research is undertaken the researcher has his own point of view and thus he gives importance to his opinion and makes the data biased thus making the whole study invalid. So the researcher should not make the data false or biased.

6. Ignoring Exceptions

There are certain situations which do not support a particular event or study so it is said that “exceptions are always there” and it is the responsibility of the researcher to ignore these exceptions as they can affect the result obtained.

7. Objectivity of the Study

When the research is being undertaken then whether it is at collecting primary data stage or collecting secondary data stage or at design and development of questionnaire stage, the researcher should see that his whole work done relates to the objective of the study and should not make the study biased by interfering with their opinions (Panneerselvam, 2004). Thus the researcher should be focused to his objective of the study at each and every step of the research process.

Chapter 4- Data Analysis and Findings

4.1 Graphical analysis

Type

Gender

Male

34

Female

26

Table 4.1: Gender Type

Figure 4.1: Gender Type

From the above figure it can be noted that a good mix of both the genders is taken for study. This represents a positive sign for the analysis purpose because this helps in being free of any sort of bias due to the particular gender of individuals. Thus, both the genders had participated to respond to the questionnaire.

Type

Age Group

18 to 25

16

26 to 30

22

31 to 39

8

40 to 49

6

50 to 59

5

60 and above

3

Table 4.2: Age Group

Figure 4.2: Age Group

From the above figure, it can be noted that 27% of the respondents were aged between 18 and 25. However, those belonging to the age group of 26 to 30 were most of the sample collected. This was followed by the further age group of individuals.

Type

Ethnic Group

White

31

Black/ Black British

15

Asian/ Asian British

12

Mixed

2

Chinese or other ethnic group

0

Table 4.3: Ethnic Group

Figure 4.3: Ethnic Group

Above figure illustrates that a good mix of ethnic groups is taken for study. However, those belonging to the white group were almost half of the total. Therefore, most of the respondents were white ethnic group of individuals. Those belonging to black or black British ethnic group were noted to be one fourth of the total. However, Asians too were taken as a reasonable amount of sample.

Type

ASBO Favourable for society

Strongly Agree

8

Agree

14

Neutral

4

Disagree

16

Strongly Disagree

18

Not Applicable

0

Table 4.4: ASBO favourable for society

Figure 4.4: ASBO favourable for society

On asking the respondents whether ASBOs are favourable for the society, 13% of them agreed strongly. However, those who marked agree were around one fourth of the total. Those who disagreed were 27% of the total respondents. However, most of the respondents (i.e. 30% of the total) were strongly disagreed with the concept that the ASBO is favourable for them. Therefore, the majority of the respondents seem to be against the ASBO. They considered that the ASBO is not in favour of the society in general. Society has to face problems due to the concept of ASBO there within.

Type

ASBO improves individual behaviour

Strongly Agree

3

Agree

18

Neutral

5

Disagree

15

Strongly Disagree

19

Not Applicable

0

Table 4.5: ASBO Improves individual behaviour

Figure 4.5: ASBO Improves individual behaviour

On asking whether ASBO improves the individual behaviour, it was found that 30% of the respondents agreed with the point. Quite a large percentage of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed for ASBO helping in improvement of individual behaviour. Thus, it can be seen that most of the respondents consider that ASBO as not much helpful for an individual to improve his behaviour.

Type

Effective to target individuals

Strongly Agree

11

Agree

27

Neutral

5

Disagree

12

Strongly Disagree

4

Not Applicable

1

Table 4.6: Effective to target individuals

Figure 4.6: Effective to target individuals

On asking whether ASBO is effective to target individuals, it is noted that most of the respondents marked as ‘Agree'. Therefore, it can be assumed that this concept is effective to affect the people in general.

Type

ASBOs detrimental to freedom of living

Strongly Agree

12

Agree

28

Neutral

7

Disagree

10

Strongly Disagree

3

Not Applicable

0

Table 4.7: ASBOs detrimental to freedom of living

Figure 4.7: ASBOs detrimental to freedom of living

This can be noted from the above figure that most of the respondents (i.e. 66% of the total) are either strongly agreed or agreed that the concept of ASBOs is detrimental to their freedom of living. They consider that the individuals are not able to live their life in a free manner due to this concept. Therefore, they seem to be against the concept of ASBO. They are considering that because of ASBO, the individual is not able to live his life in a free manner. The concept poses restrictions in the way in which an individual lives.

Type

ASBOs a mandatory factor for society's safety

Strongly Agree

5

Agree

16

Neutral

4

Disagree

25

Strongly Disagree

10

Not Applicable

0

Table 4.8: ASBOs are mandatory factor for society's safety

Figure 4.8: ASBOs are mandatory factor for society's safety

On getting the response for the question whether ASBOs are mandatory factor for the safety of society, it was found that 8% of the respondents strongly agreed with the point. However, those who marked agree were 27% of the total. Two fifth of the respondents consider it as not much important factor for the safety of society. Therefore, the majority of respondents can be noted to be against the ASBOs as they do not think it's important for having ASBOs there within the society.

Type

Shall excessive noise during sex be considered worthy of an ASBO?

Strongly Agree

1

Agree

12

Neutral

2

Disagree

21

Strongly Disagree

22

Not Applicable

2

Table 4.9: Shall excessive noise during sex be considered worthy of an ASBO?

Figure 4.9: Shall excessive noise during sex be considered worthy of an ASBO?

On asking the question whether excessive noise during sex is worthy of an ASBO? The majority of the respondents either strongly disagreed (37%) or disagreed (35%) with the idea. Therefore, it can be noted from this graph that most of the respondents consider that making excessive noise during sex should not be considered as anti-social behaviour and it is not right to give people an ASBO for this. The reason behind this is that the majority of the respondents consider that imposing ASBO for this kind of behaviour is in breach of people's human rights.

Type

ASBOs made life tough

Strongly Agree

20

Agree

15

Neutral

6

Disagree

16

Strongly Disagree

3

Not Applicable

0

Table 4.10: ASBOs made life tough

Figure 4.10: ASBOs made life tough

For the point whether ASBOs made life tough, it was noted that most of the respondents agreed with the point. They consider that because of ASBO, they are not able to live their life in freedom. This sort of behaviour has affected their way of living the life. One is not able to live their life because of the ASBOs in their own ways as it has caused restrictions in their way of lives.

Type

ASBO restricts freedom

Strongly Agree

14

Agree

19

Neutral

4

Disagree

15

Strongly Disagree

5

Not Applicable

3

Table 4.11: ASBO restricts freedom

Figure 4.11: ASBO restricts freedom

On asking whether ASBOs restricts the freedom of living, 23% respondents strongly agreed with the point. Those who marked agree were 32% of the total. However, one fourth of the respondents do not agree with the point and 8% marked strongly disagree as their opinion. Therefore, there seems to be quite a mixed response for this point. However, majority are against the ASBOs for their society. This act of response suggests that majority of respondents are against the ASBOs.

Type

ASBO helps to generate good Citizens

Strongly Agree

1

Agree

18

Neutral

1

Disagree

23

Strongly Disagree

13

Not Applicable

4

Table 4.12: ASBO helps to generate good citizens

Figure 4.12: ASBO helps to generate good citizens

As per the responses collected, it can be seen that 30% of the respondents suggest ASBOs as the helpful ways to generate good citizens. However, 38% marked disagree with the point and those who marked strongly disagree were 22% of the total. Therefore, although some of the respondents consider ASBOs as the way to develop good citizens, majority of the respondents consider it as not such a useful way. They seem to be not much in favour of the concept of ASBO.

Type

The use of ASBO is further criminalising our society and our youth in particular

Strongly Agree

21

Agree

11

Neutral

8

Disagree

12

Strongly Disagree

8

Not Applicable

0

Table 4.13: The use of ASBO is further criminalising our society and our youth in particular

Figure 4.13: The use of ASBO is further criminalising our society and our youth in particular

On asking the query whether ASBO helps in increasing the crime of youth, it is seen that 35% respondents strongly agreed. This suggests high degrees of respondents are in favour of the concept that imposing ASBO to our youth further criminalises them, although a good percentage of respondents (33%) either strongly disagreed or disagreed with the idea, meaning that they were quite in favour of the ASBO concept.

Type

Suffered due to ASBO

Yes

17

No

43

Table 4.14: Suffered due to ASBO

Figure 4.14: Suffered due to ASBO

On asking whether one has suffered due to ASBO in his or her life, it was noted that 28% of them had suffered. Thus, it shows that majority of respondents had not suffered in their life because of anti social behaviour orders.

Type

Targeted by police for ASBO

Yes

12

No

32

Not Applicable

16

Table 4.15: Targeted by police for ASBO

Figure 4.15: Targeted by police for ASBO

For this point, it was noted that one fifth of the respondents had been targeted once or more in their lives because of their anti social behaviour order. Those who had not suffered were 53% of the total. This represents that, because of ASBOs, some of the respondents had been targeted by the police because of their ASBOs.

Type

Have Local Authorities been given too much power regarding the ASBOs?

Yes

37

No

22

Table 4.16: Have Local Authorities been given too much power regarding the ASBOs?

Figure 4.16: Have Local Authorities been given too much power regarding the ASBOs?

For the point whether local authorities have been given too much power relating to ASBOs, the majority of the respondents or 63% agreed with the point. They consider that the local authorities are given too much power to take action if someone is causing or is likely to cause a nuisance. Thus, it does not seem to be good for society and it was felt that the power should remain in the hands of police.

Chapter 5- Conclusion, Recommendations and Future Development

For the important point of concern about ASBOs, the above dissertation has explored several aspects. Based on the literature review and the analysis, it can be noted that anti social behaviour orders have been the root cause affecting society as a whole in relation to criminalising youth within society for behaviour that is not criminal. (See Goldson and Muncie 2006; Millie 2009). It could be argued that young people have always behaved badly and adults have always complained about their behaviour. These young people might be considered to be the “folk devils” of the moment (Cohen, 1983) and the reaction to them in the media and by politicians could be a “moral panic”. Therefore, it becomes crucial to understand whether ASBOs are for the good of the whole of society or not?

It can be argued that the use of ASBOs had the original aim not to criminalize our society, but to actually minimise criminalisation. Thus, the point arises whether the use of this concept is to help the society or does it lead to a problematic scenario. It can also be argued that there are several factors such as prostitution which may have a negative affect on the surrounding environment. It has been argued also that anti social acts can have also a detrimental impact on society as a whole (Millie, 2009). The findings show that 35% of the respondents have strongly agreed and a further 18% agreed with the statement that the use of ASBOs is further criminalising our society and our youth in particular.

Loud music may keep people awake late at night and make it tough for them to do their work the next day. Therefore, it becomes crucial to find out the exact causes that lead to these problematic conditions and thereafter have proper control over this area. There are, however, existing laws in place to deal with such behaviours. It is difficult to see how making noise during sexual intercourse can affect society, and it was found that the majority of respondents in the current study (72%) were not in favour of the idea that making noise during sex should be considered worthy of an ASBO because this should be considered as a private matter.

Ideas about what type of behaviour is permissible and what is not together with ideas about when private becomes `too private` to be interfered with are fascinating aspects to research more fully. This dissertation has focused more on the detrimental aspects of ASBOs in terms of its criminalisation effect, but it is definitely worth further investigation in the future.

Criminology has been concerned to find out whether there is any negative impact of ASBOs on society or whether is has a beneficial impact on society (Millie, 2009). It is possible that if one gets caught by police and issued with an ASBO, the label can lead to future behaviour or actions being classified as anti-social or even criminal even if they are technically not. A ten year old boy who's ASBO forbids him to enter a particular post code, for example, is not in itself being anti-social or ‘criminal' by simply walking within the boundaries of said post code at a later date. What renders this behaviour ‘criminal' is him being in breach of the order. This can further increase the crime rate of an individual. Millie, (2009) argues that ‘this can lead to a spiral of engaging in unsocial activities that can have a knock-on effect for the whole society'. Thus, a thorough analysis was conducted on the subject. For this purpose, the primary data was collected in such a manner that a good mix of respondents achieved in terms of age as well as ethnicity. Both genders are represented almost equally.

The analysis demonstrates that even though the use of ASBOs is basically aimed to protect society, there are negative aspects associated with the concept. Due to this behaviour order, the majority of individuals can end up perpetuating negative behaviour. On asking the query whether ASBOs help in increasing the crime of youth, it is seen that 35% respondents strongly agreed and further 18% agreed with this idea. This suggests high degrees of respondents are in favour of the concept that imposing ASBOs to our youth further criminalises them, although a good percentage of respondents (in total 33%) either strongly disagreed or disagreed with the idea, meaning that they were quite in favour of the ASBO concept. On asking whether one has suffered due to ASBO in his or her life, it was noted that 28% of them had suffered. Thus, it shows that majority of respondents had not suffered in their life because of anti social behaviour orders. On asking the respondents whether they were targeted by police due to ASBOs, it was noted that one fifth of the respondents had been targeted once or more in their lives because of their anti social behaviour order. Those who had not suffered were 53% of the total. This represents that, because of ASBOs, some of the respondents had been targeted by the police because of their ASBOs.

As per the primary data collected, most of the respondents (62%) consider that because of ASBOs, their freedom has been restricted. Because of this policy, numerous restrictions have been placed on the behavioural patterns of individuals. It can be noted that 58% of the respondents consider that the ASBOs do not play a positive role within current criminal justice measures for society and the individual. The concept does not help in development of a good citizen and even forces individuals to live their lives with a lack of freedom. The concept aids to the restrictions of the free and independent lives of people in society.

Overall, it is not possible to conclude unequivocally whether the legacy of ASBOs can be judged as having been entirely positive or negative. However, as per the majority of respondents in the study, it can be stated that the use of anti social behaviour orders has affected society in a negative manner by restricting people in living their own way of life. People are forced to behave as per the demands of the society. Thus, life has now become more complicated to live in a free manner. People consider that ASBOs should not be a mandatory part of society. Even though certain behaviour could be considered ‘anti-social' like making too much noise during sexual intercourse, 70% of respondents felt that it should not be penalised by issuing an anti-social behaviour order. Evidence discussed in the literature review (see also Appendix 4) shows that it is exactly these kind of ASBOs that are breached most commonly. Therefore, the crime rate can increase further because of this concept of criminalising ordinary citizens which can end up receiving a criminal record or at worst case scenario, receiving a custodial sentence.

Recommendations

Considering that ASBOs are now being phased out and that there are plans to replace them makes it a timely enterprise to offer some recommendations. It is recommended that whatever plans the government is putting into place they should pay special attention towards not repeating the same mistakes as when they introduced ASBOs. Furthermore, it would be ideal that the nation and its institutions fully support plans to weaken the power of the local authority and instead have the current and new powers to be delivered by police alone. Another recommendation is that whatever plans are to be made by the current and future government, they should be fully supported by the local community. In this case, it may go a long way to reinstate the trust between the authorities and the community. A final recommendation wishes to highlight the detrimental effects that ASBOs can have on young people (as young as 10). To disallow youth to enter particular areas or even whole postcode areas for a minimum of two years seems to be pre-programmed to be breached. Better ways to deal with potentially disruptive young people need to be found.

Limitations and future research

On looking at all aspects of the topic, one can note that some areas are yet in need to be explored. This research was carried out only for academic purposes and funds were not available for a large scale study. To carry out any research in a thorough manner, there is a need to do the research for 2-3 years. However, time constraints limited the researcher in the collection of a large quantity of data. Another factor, as mentioned before, is the financial constraints which resulted in not carrying out interviews as originally planned. However, further research can be conducted on the same topic by using the already designed questionnaire and secondary data from this research to form the basis for further study. This would help in reaching a higher standard of outcomes for the research topic and can help in reaching a higher level of conclusions at the end.

Therefore, if the chance is given, a more thorough research should be carried out to explore the deeper impact that ASBOs have had towards the further criminalising of our society in particular the youth of this country.