Camilla Batman-Ghelidja: Abuse of natural justice harms our most vulnerable young people

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I feel that the whole Asbo debate is coming at the problem from the wrong angle. I feel it is articulate opinion-formers who make judgements based on their own quality of life and they set standards for other people in relation to how they want their lives to be.

I feel that the whole Asbo debate is coming at the problem from the wrong angle. I feel it is articulate opinion-formers who make judgements based on their own quality of life and they set standards for other people in relation to how they want their lives to be.

If you have that power you must ensure that children's lives are of a similar quality and standard as your own. Yet Asbos are being used on some of the most vulnerable and physiologically distressed young people.

What people don't understand is that these young children find it very difficult to calm down. For years they've been terrorised and possibly abused and they have a built-up energy which makes it difficult for them to relax, and no significant relationship in places.

Often these kids have been thrown out of school. Honestly, they don't even give a thought about the Asbo.

Some of them have experienced extremes of punishment, and - for them - prison might seem a respite from what they have been through. If you've been damaged and terrorised, you're not going to worry about someone saying "you've got an Asbo". They would say they don't care if they go to prison.

The money spent on monitoring Asbos would be better invested in a programme of intervention to help solve these kids' problems.

I don't think Asbos are a bad thing but I think you have to use them in the context of other interventions. What is difficult is that in these neighbourhoods social and mental health services are so snowed-under they would do everything they could to avoid taking on another case.

I think that if they had a really exciting and consistent youth policy and protected the child, there could be some point to using the Asbo. At the moment, though, the Asbo is just a way of saying "don't come into my neighbourhood".

As far as the kid is concerned, they just go somewhere else. I think it is an abuse of natural justice.

Camilla Batman-Ghelidja is founder of Kids' Company, a London-based children's charity which provides therapeutic and social work services to 4,000 vulnerable children in 22 inner-city schools

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