ASBO Boom

Anti Social Behaviour Orders are have become valuable collector’s items following their discontinuation by Home Secretary Theresa May.

Any remaining ASBOs held by the Con-Dem coalition are being sold to the highest bidder in an effort to replenish depleted government coffers.

The sweeping change to one of the Blair government’s biggest social reforms has been received with cautious enthusiasm by those lucky enough to be in possession of one or more of the coveted civil orders.

Phil Grouting, 25, of Lyme-In-Water, Cumbria, was overjoyed to hear that his four ASBOs for common assault are now valuable family heirlooms. “I think it’s a really good move by the new government” said Grouting who received his first ASBO at the age of 18 after a drunken brawl at a local taxi rank.

“I’m thinking of putting my ASBOs into an ISA or something, but with things as they are the market could change at any time, especially in light of the VAT increase in January.”

The value of ASBOs could overinflate rapidly as thousands rush to swap with one another in an effort to gain complete sets in certain areas such as public order or nuisance behaviour.

The market is currently swamped with alcohol related offences, with public urination and fly-tipping a close second and third. What have been coined ‘Golden ASBOs’, those awarded to the over 60s, are fetching seemingly limitless sums.

Mrs Dorothy Polyp, 76, of Enid Blyton, Surrey, sold her single 2006 order for repeatedly shouting at her television for a staggering £18,547 to an anonymous collector on eBay.

“I couldn’t believe it” Mrs Polyp told us, “I’ve just been using it as a doorstop since I got it, I never thought it’d be worth anything. Obviously there’s the sentimental value, but with winter just around the corner and gas prices like they are, I just had to let it go.

The police are never away from my nephew’s door, so I expect he’s got a few tucked away somewhere.”

Exotic specimens of ‘windmilling’ and ‘theatrical sexual intercourse’ are alleged to have fetched six figure sums, proving particularly popular among Russian oligarchs looking for new areas of investment.

The current ASBO bonanza is the result of one of the coalition’s more popular reforms. With public confidence at an all-time low and financial austerity biting at the ankles of all but the super-rich this will no doubt provide a much needed feel-good factor.

Will the sudden creation of a nouveau riche result in a wave of ASBO yuppies? Only this week, the UK’s first Aftershock fountain was installed at a house in Portsmouth and there are reports, as yet unsubstantiated, of record sales of Intimately Beckham and 24 carat gold belly bars.

The ASBO boom looks set to continue despite warnings from top economists of a tulipomania style crash if rampant trading continues unregulated.

The speculative bubble has been likened by BBC business editor Robert Peston to the housing boom under New Labour or those Pog things from years ago.


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About Sam Butler

Sam Butler is a journalist and writer from Bristol, UK. He has a degree in Criminology and Journalism from the University of the West of England. He is a staunch opposer of capital punishment and an advocate of penal and criminal justice reform. His first piece of academic work "The Edlington case: The media construction of crime and the role of the public criminologist in the reporting of serious crimes" is available upon request.
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