The development of ‘parallel’ legal procedures to the functioning of the ordinary criminal justice system to fight terrorism, the expansion of powers of surveillance, search and arrest for the police and the creation of ‘anti-social behaviour orders’ (ASBOs, measures to counter ‘anti-social’ conduct): these are some key aspects in the United Kingdom in the field of the treatment of foreigners, of ethnic minorities and children who are increasingly identified as ‘threats’ to public security and peaceful co-existence. From Thatcher to Blair and now Brown, there has been a constant escalation in the use of norms and practices heading towards zero tolerance. Moreover, immigration and asylum policies entail a number of abuses and practices that belie the United Kingdom’s and European Union’s claim to be examples on a global level as regards the respect of human rights. The backdrop against which these policies have been developed is the reversal of the relationship between the state and citizens, which is marked by a reduction in the control to which institutions that are in charge of guaranteeing ‘security’ are subjected, alongside an increase in controls experienced by people living in the UK (through the wholesale surveillance of communications and of ‘suspicious’ or ‘anti-social’ behaviour). The possibility of sanctioning the latter, even in the absence of the elements required to instruct a criminal trial, is a further relevant development.