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CAUTIOUS WELCOME TO NEW SCOTTISH PROPOSALS TO TACKLE ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

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The Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland today gave a cautious welcome ...
The Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland today gave a cautious welcome

to the Scottish executive's proposal to introduce interim Anti-Social

Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in the Criminal Justice Bill.

The Scottish parliament's justice 2 committee is currently considering the

Bill. In written evidence to the committee the CIH broadly welcomed the

proposal as a means to speed up the time taken to help end the misery of

anti-social behaviour.

Alan Ferguson, director of the CIH said:

'There are concerns about the length of time it takes to obtain an

Anti-Social Behaviour Order against unruly tenants or home-owners. Our

research indicates that it takes between one and three months for half of

all ASBOs to be granted. If interim ASBOs can be obtained quickly then this

could mean neighbours feeling safer in and around their homes sooner.'

However, the CIH are keen that interim ASBOs do not cloud the need for

improvements in the way full ASBOs operate. Mr Ferguson went on to say:

'In our evidence to the Justice 2 Committee we make it clear that there is a

need for local authorities and the police to work closer together on

gathering evidence. We also highlight that the lack of court time available

to deal with ASBO applications needs to be addressed, as do the varying

approaches taken by Sheriffs on the standards of evidence required. We want

ASBOs to provide an alternative to eviction, a measure which only tends to

move the problem elsewhere. However, landlords may opt for eviction if the

process of applying for ASBOs appears to be long and fraught.'

Notes

1. Justice 2 Committee is the lead committee considering The Criminal

Justice Bill in the Scottish parliament. The Bill is currently at Stage 1

Report.

2. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 introduced ASBOs into Scotland. An

ASBO can be used to restrict the behaviour of people. Breaching an ASBO is

a criminal offence.

3. The CIH research into the use of ASBOs is 'Monitoring the Crime and

Disorder Act 1998', published in May 2001.

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