“It was in 2008 that (then) Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that the Police would be rolling out these tactics to the estates to combat “anti-social behaviour”. Anti-social behaviour was Labour’s crime buzzword of the noughties – a term so nebulous it became used much in the same way as the ‘sus’ laws of the 1980s. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (or ASBOs) were used to impose stringent conditions on the behaviour of individuals who were regarded, for whatever reason, undesireable. Breaking these conditions is a criminal offence and thus often criminalises essentially un-criminal behaviour. This particular FITwatcher remembers the tabloid shockers of the time: the suicidally depressed getting ASBOs preventing them from going near tall buildings, Then there were the local police advertising campaigns: billboards and buses bearing the likenesses of supposed ‘offenders’ detailing their ASBO conditions and urging people to grass if the ‘offender’ is seen to break their conditions. In the midst of ASBO-mania, Jacqui Smith heralded the arrival of “Operation Leopard” – a pioneering scheme to introduce Forward Intelligence Team tactics to Essex. Coupled with the 2007 introduction of additional powers for Police to stop people on the street based entirely on suspicion (again, not a million miles away from the ‘sus’ laws), it wasn’t long before it was rolled out to police other areas – such as the estates around East London’s Brick Lane, or that it is still in operation within Greater Manchester at Stockport town hall where the peaceful protester has had harassment following the council’s employee’s circulated malicious chinese whisper !! ( as said at the last recall ), “why dont we let him protest from the top of the building because when he’s there he might fall off and then we’ll be rid of him”.”