HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 cc801-2
Mr. Denham

I beg to move amendment No. 47, in page 65, line 37, after "(6)" insert— 'for the discharge of an order'. The amendment will make a minor drafting change to the clause. Under the legislation, we will enable an ASBO to be made on criminal proceedings. As the Bill stands, however, the ASBO could not be varied in the flexible way that all other ASBOs may be varied. The amendment makes it clear that the application can be made to vary an order at any time by the relevant authority or by the offender. The amendment will achieve consistency between all the orders, and a fair and proportionate system will be established.

Mrs. Brooke

The Minister will not be surprised that I want to pursue the matter, as I did in Committee although we were rushed, and I am sure he agrees that we did not have time for a proper answer. In Committee, I raised the point that if we are attempting to change as well as stop certain behaviour, which I hope we are, people should not have to go through an absolute two-year period before they can apply, or even have the opportunity to apply, for an order to be rescinded. That would confirm such behaviour rather than give an incentive to reform and to use a new approach.

Such orders may have an effect, perhaps by shaking up young people and their families, but we are condemning them to a two-year wait with that label on them. Would it not be better to provide the opportunity to get rid of the label and to tackle the behavioural problems rather than just put a stop to them temporarily? Will the Minister consider the fact that although six months might not be enough, two years is a long time for somebody to carry a label if they are determined to change their behaviour?

Mr. Denham

Indeed, the purpose of our amendment is to bring into line the flexibility on other ASBOs and that on those for criminal convictions. I agree with the hon. Lady that, when an ASBO is in place, we must always consider how we can change the underlying offending behaviour.

Amendment agreed to.

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