Monday, April 06, 2009

Labour - Communities should have ASBO powers

Communities should be able to apply fir antisocial behaviour orders against problem individuals, reports the Scotsman :

'Give power to the people over Asbos'

Published Date: 03 April 2009
By Scott Macnab

COMMUNITIES should be able to apply for antisocial behaviour orders (Asbos) against problem individuals, Labour said yesterday.

The party urged MSPs to get out of their Holyrood "comfort zone" and face up to the plight faced by some neighbourhoods.

The call came as MSPs debated a recent government paper on ways to crack down on antisocial behaviour – which included less use of Asbos.

Paul Martin, Labour's justice spokesman, said: "It's all very well from the comfort zone of this chamber to talk a good game about prevention and integration – a lot of the buzz words in this document."

But he added: "When you live in Blackhill (in Glasgow], I'm afraid you don't have that comfort zone. In that area and those other areas that are blighted by antisocial behaviour, you want your local politicians to be on your side."

Under Labour's plan, community councils, and tenants' or residents' organisations would be able to request that an Asbo is used by applying to their council or police force. Mr Martin said it would give them a "real say" in making their areas safer.

Fergus Ewing, the community safety minister, said the government's framework was aimed at "promoting, not dictating" solutions to the problem.

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