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COUNCILS DETERMINED TO RID COMMUNITIES OF SCOURGE OF ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

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No one is more committed to ridding Scotland's communities of the scourge of anti-social behaviour than Scotland's ...
No one is more committed to ridding Scotland's communities of the scourge of anti-social behaviour than Scotland's council leaders.

This is the main point to emerge from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities' response to 'Putting our communities First - A Strategy for tackling anti social behaviour' which will be formally discussed at COSLA's leaders meeting tomorrow.

In welcoming the Executive's proposals COSLA also calls for a balanced two-pronged approach to tackling the problem and points out that not all anti-social behaviour is carried out by young people nor individuals from traditionally deprived backgrounds.

Commenting in advance of tomorrow's meeting COSLA president Pat Watters said: 'Can I state categorically that no - one is more committed to ridding our communities of the scourge of anti-social behaviour than Scotland's council leaders and other elected members.

'Anti-social behaviour is corrosive and is blighting our communities not just in urban areas but in rural ones as well.

'But it has to be recognised that not all of our young people are criminals. It is a relatively small group, fewer than ten per cent, that engage in this type of behaviour, they are largely known and they must be tackled. But they must be tackled in a way that works.

'There are pockets of anti-social behaviour all over Scotland and it would be wrong to go with a blanket punishment solution on all occasions. We need to target effectively where the behaviour is occurring.

Mr Watters continued: 'We need to use both sanctions and intervention depending on the situation. The sanction must be appropriate to get the desired result, it must not be about looking tough for the sake of it.

'We have to stop anti-social behaviour in the short term and then look at longer-term solutions to prevent it happening in the first place.

'We are talking about a complex set of social circumstances but on some occasions sanction must be the appropriate first ste p but on others it should be about building on examples of successful intervention currently operating.

'The message coming across from our member councils is about changing people's behaviour, not just dealing with the consequences of their actions.'

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