§ Mr. Charles Clarke
The local child curfew scheme was introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and has been available since September of that year. The scheme allows a local authority, after consultation with the police and other appropriate local bodies and following confirmation from the Secretary of State, to set up a scheme under which unaccompanied children up to the age of nine can be banned from a particular area for a specified period at night.321W
No local authority has applied to the Secretary of State to set up a local child curfew scheme
Following consultation on why this provision has not been used we are now raising the age of children who can be covered by the scheme to 15, and allowing the police to initiate applications. These changes are being introduced in the Criminal Justice and Police Bill. We believe these amendments will encourage the consideration of child curfews as part of local crime and disorder reduction strategies.
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
The local child curfew scheme for children of nine and under was introduced by section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and has been in force since September of that year. The scheme allows a local authority, after consultation with the police and other appropriate local bodies and following confirmation from my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, to set up a scheme which bans children up to the age of nine from being out late at night (for a specified period between 9 pm and 6 am) otherwise than under the control of a responsible adult.
No local authority has applied to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to set up a local child curfew scheme. We have consulted widely on why this provision has not been used and many useful suggestions are being taken forward. In particular consultations indicated that the age range was too narrow given that children out on the streets late at night are often aged 10 or over.
We are seeking to remedy this by raising the age at which children can be covered to 15. This change is being introduced in the Criminal Justice and Police Bill. We are also giving the police the power to initiate and set up a scheme following consultation with the local authority and after confirmation from my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. We believe these changes will make the scheme more likely to be used, and play a useful part in local crime and disorder reduction strategies.
The antisocial behaviour order was a new civil order created under section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, which has been in force since April 1999. This community based order can be applied for by the police, a local authority or in consultation with each other, against one or several individuals (perhaps a family) whose behaviour is anti-social (ie it causes alarm, distress or harassment to one or more people not in the same household as him/herself).
We understand that at least five antisocial behaviour orders were issued in Lancashire between 1 April 1999 and 31 May 2000. Figures, by local authority area, for the numbers of orders applied for during that period are not held centrally. However from 1 June 2000 the number of such orders applied for and issued is being collected centrally. Provisional data up to 30 September 2000 show two antisocial behaviour orders being applied for in Lancashire, both of which were granted.