Things We Don’t Hear About in America

by on Dec.21, 2010, under television, Travel

I was watching the British TV show Misfits (highly recommended, imagine Skins with superpowers), and one of the characters mentioned his “ASBO.” So I Googled that and found out about Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, handed out in the UK for minor offenses and restricting the recipient from engaging in specified behaviors. From that Wikipedia page I jumped to a memorandum submitted to Parliament by the National Association of Probation Officers, describing some of the most outlandish of these orders. Like:

A 13-year-old was served an order banning him from using the word “grass” anywhere in England and Wales.

In February 2003, a 16-year-old boy was banned from showing his tattoos, wearing a single golf glove, or wearing a balaclava in public anywhere in the country.

A 26-year-old West Lothian man has been made the subject of an ASBO after playing the Band Aid single “Do they know it’s Christmas” dozens of times daily to the annoyance of neighbours. He has been banned from “playing loud music, stamping his feet and dropping objects.”

And my personal favorite:

The oldest recipient of an order to date is an 87-year-old who among other things is forbidden from being sarcastic to his neighbours.

All under Labour governments! Just imagine what the Tories will do.


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