Police should be harassing badly behaved youths by openly filming them and hounding them at home to make their lives as uncomfortable as possible, the home secretary will say today.
The crime initiative is part of a government strategy to win back voters by proposing more radical approaches to tackling deep seated problems.
In a speech in London the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, will acknowledge that the number of antisocial behaviour orders being issued is falling, but will argue that there has been a shift to the use of parental orders instead.
As part of the crackdown on bad behaviour, she will urge police forces across the country to follow the example of Essex police, who have mounted four-day "frame and shame" operations by filming and repeatedly stopping identified persistent offenders on problem estates.
The programme in Essex has been successful, even though it may raise human rights issues about such tough tactics, especially if those harassed by the police have not been found guilty of any criminal offence.
Smith will say: "There is no let-up in tackling antisocial behaviour. We know that getting in early to stop troublemakers works, but I want stronger action to deal with persistent offenders. I want police and local agencies to focus on them by giving them a taste of their own medicine: daily visits, repeated warnings and relentless filming of offenders to create an environment where there is nowhere to hide.
"There can be no excuse for inaction while people still fear for the safety of the streets and estates where they live. We will do more to protect them. We all need to sharpen our resolve to tackle both the symptoms and the causes of antisocial behaviour."
The government has been accused by the Conservatives of going soft on its previous "respect" agenda, closing down its respect unit and placing a new emphasis on youth clubs and play.
The National Audit Office has also criticised the high number of breaches of Asbos, arguing that ministers have little idea what measures are most effective.
Boris Johnson announced yesterday that he was imposing a ban on the drinking of alcohol on all tubes and buses.
He has also raised the prospect of forming 100 Saturday schools where children are drilled to march and learn manners.
Smith will be briefed at a conference in London today on the Essex operation by its two creators, Inspector Jon Burgess and Sergeant Gavin Brock.
The police decided to target persistent offenders with filming techniques first used in identifying hunt saboteurs and football hooligans.
An Essex police spokesman said: "The aim is to target a small group of persistent offenders by openly filming them, knocking on their doors, following them on the estate and repeatedly searching them, as well as warning them in no uncertain terms that local people have identified them as lawbreakers."
He claimed a four-day blitz in Basildon, which was followed up a few months later, had dramatically reduced offending, and proved highly popular with residents.
The scheme, codenamed operation Leopard, was approved by Essex's Chief Constable, Roger Baker, after specific estates had been identified as crime hotspots, with more than 20 offences reported each week.
The police followed 14 people in their teens and early 20s. Each was well known to the force, having built up criminal records for offences such as intimidation, burglary, criminal damage, antisocial behaviour and vehicle crime.
Three surveillance officers spearheaded the operation, backed by uniformed police and community support officers. A total of 60 stops were carried out.
As a result of other changes being introduced by the Home Office, it will be easier to make these stops without needing to make a full record.
Ministers will defend the fall in the number of Asbos issued by claiming other techniques such as acceptable behaviour contracts and parenting orders are proving more effective.
Critics claim Asbos have become a badge of honour.
Acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs) are written agreements between a young person, the local housing office or registered social landlord, and the local police in which the person agrees not to carry out a series of identifiable behaviours which have been defined as antisocial. The contracts are primarily aimed at young people aged between 10 and 18.
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