The government moved yesterday to reassure voters that it is getting the upper hand against low-level street crime and yobbish behaviour when it unveiled measures to improve witness protection in so-called "Asbo" cases.

With David Blunkett, the home secretary, this week due to issue his first annual report on the progress of the anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) strategy, his cabinet colleague, Lord Falconer, flagged up procedural reforms that ministers hope will encourage people to speak out against menacing neighbours.

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