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January 24, 2008

Online Asbo profiles land Bolton man in jail

By Martin Stabe wirepost

While some journalists have been struggling to publicise details of individuals given Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, others are reporting on the effectiveness of publishing Asbo recipients’ pictures online.

In a report on the case of a persistent drunk who was jailed after violating the terms of his Asbo, the Bolton News notes that the man was nabbed after a CCTV operator recognised him from a website that publicises the pictures of people who are subject to Asbos.

The “Current Asbos” site was launched this month by the BurySafe partnership, a body which brings together council and police organisations in the region.

Bury Council’s Michelle Wiseman told the paper: “We are delighted that the community is behind us in publicising these people who have been given ASBOs for terrorising communities and making victims’ lives a misery.”

In Brighton, by contrast, The Argus is fighting a reporting restriction that prevents it from publishing the picture of a teenage Asbo recipient.

Meanwhile, a Guardian journalist recently lost a Freedom of Information Act case in the Information Tribunal after seeking a list of past Asbo recipients in the London Borough of Camden.

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