One of the unusual things about a boy with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order is that everybody knows where to find him. When a child is convicted of a criminal offence, the anonymity to which young offenders are ordinarily entitled prevents you and me from discovering his name, what he looks like, or where he lives. This protection has a long legal tradition. Had Michael Talbot therefore been prosecuted for, say, burning down a house, I would never have found him. But as the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo), the 13-year-old's name had been made public property. It was simply a question of knocking on his door.

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