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ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR BILL 'ONLY THE START'

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First minister Jack McConnell today visited Edinburgh's Broomhouse estate ahead of tomorrow's Stage 3 debate of the...
First minister Jack McConnell today visited Edinburgh's Broomhouse estate ahead of tomorrow's Stage 3 debate of the Antisocial Behaviour Bill. He was there to hear first-hand accounts of the misery that antisocial behaviour has caused in the area.

Speaking in Broomhouse, the first minister said: 'In communities across Scotland, people have told me that there is no point in reporting antisocial behaviour because nothing will be done to stop it.

'That will change tomorrow, because we are creating new powers which are the right powers to deal with this kind of behaviour, and help bring respect back into our communities.

'These powers are absolutely vital if we are to win our fight against the mindless hooligans who spoil so many lives.

'The Antisocial Behaviour Bill is only the start. We need to find practical ways to help young people to get their lives back on track if they get involved in petty crime. We need to create activities for young people, so that they cannot blame boredom for their bad behaviour.

'But above all else, we need to let our young people know the difference between right and wrong. We need to protect the most vulnerable in our society and we need to bring respect back into our communities.'

Minister for communities, Margaret Curran, who was also in Broomhouse today said: 'Our antisocial behaviour proposals will change the lives of Scottish people for the better. We have listened to communities across Scotland, and we have acted.

'Antisocial behaviour ruins lives, lowers expectations and threatens regeneration. There are no instant solutions. Tackling this scourge demands a range of interventions from prevention, early intervention and diversion through to sanction and enforcement. This Bill, which is an important element of our overall strategy, is delivering on these needs.'

While in Broomhouse, the first minister and Ms Curran met with representatives of the local community and the Carol Munro, the chair of the 'Save Our Scheme' action group.

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