Standing up to Antisocial Behaviour
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Standing up to Antisocial Behaviour
It's Wrong. Your Rights.
Antisocial behaviour is a serious problem in many of Scotland's communities. Noisy neighbours, litter and graffiti, youth disorder, drinking and drug dens - all are forms of antisocial behaviour.
Too many people feel that nothing can be done about antisocial behaviour - that it is something they have to put up with, even though it can seriously affect their quality of life.
Your rights and responsibilities
Antisocial behaviour does not have to be tolerated. People have a right to live in safe and secure communities. But with rights come responsibilities. People have a responsibility to treat their neighbours and others in the wider community with respect. People who cause trouble need to know that their behaviour will not be tolerated and that action will be taken against them if they persist.
The law is on your side
That's why the Scottish Parliament passed the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act in 2004. The Act gives local agencies more tools to stand up to the minority in each community whose behaviour blights lives.
How has the law changed?
The law gives local agencies - Councils, the police, the Children's Hearings system and the courts - more powers to deal with antisocial behaviour.
The powers include:
- allowing the police to close premises that are the focus of constant antisocial behaviour
- allowing the police to disperse groups of people who are causing significant, continuous and serious antisocial behaviour
- Fixed Penalty Notices for a range of antisocial behaviour offences including noise within domestic dwellings, vandalism and drunken behaviour
- banning the sale of spray paint to under 16s
- a statutory power of arrest if an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO) is broken
- Community Reparation Orders that require people to make amends for damage they have caused
- allowing Councils to deal with private landlords who take no action or avoid dealing with their tenants' antisocial behaviour
- allowing the police to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for litter and other less serious acts of antisocial behaviour
- extending ASBOs to 12 to 15 year olds
"Antisocial behaviour is a problem - but my message to hard-working people across the country is a positive one. Antisocial behaviour need not be tolerated. The law is on your side. The Government in Scotland is on your side. Together we can help deliver a safer, stronger Scotland where people treat one another with respect."
MSP, Minister for Justice.
How will the law help me?
A lot is already being done. But we need to do more. The new law should make it easier and quicker for local agencies to deal with antisocial behaviour. However, they cannot do this on their own - they need the help of local people. People need to report antisocial behaviour, act as witnesses, come forward and play their part, confident that their complaint will be dealt with quickly and that they will be supported.
That's why the Scottish Executive has provided extra money to Councils, so they can offer a wider range of services to tackle antisocial behaviour.
Councils have used this money to:
- establish neighbour mediation services, to help neighbours resolve difficulties before they get out of hand
- recruit antisocial behaviour teams, which can carry out investigations and, where necessary, take court action
- set up community warden schemes in hard pressed areas
- provide support services to victims and witnesses of antisocial behaviour, including information on the progress of complaints as well as practical advice and reassurance
- set up telephone helplines, so people can report incidents in confidence
Involving local people
The Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act requires Councils and the police to draw up local antisocial behaviour strategies, in consultation with local people. Councils and the police are required to publish their strategies and to produce progress reports on their implementation, so that local people can see what's being done to tackle antisocial behaviour.
Who do I turn to for help?
That depends on the nature of the problem. Clearly serious crimes should be reported to the police. But many incidents of antisocial behaviour are more appropriately dealt with by local Councils. The Council will be able to advise you whether to call the police.
For more information about the support you can expect in your local area you should contact your Council.
Telephone numbers of local authorities can be found below, and on the Scottish Executive's antisocial behaviour website. www.antisocialbehaviourscotland.com
Aberdeen City: 01224 523 300
Aberdeenshire: 01467 620 981
Angus: 01575 573 581
Argyll & Bute: 01546 602 127
Clackmannanshire: 01259 450 000
Dumfries & Galloway: 01387 260 000
Dundee City: 0800 169 3845
East Ayrshire: 01563 576 843
East Dunbartonshire: 0800 013 1209
East Lothian: 0845 601 8518
East Renfrewshire: 0141 577 3000
Edinburgh: 0131 529 7050
(Western Isles): 01851 703 773
Falkirk: 01324 506 070
Fife: 01592 418 888
Glasgow: 0800 0273 901
Highland: 01463 702 126
Inverclyde: 01475 717 171
Midlothian: 0131 2707 500
Moray: 01343 543 451
North Ayrshire: 01294 324 922
North Lanarkshire: 01698 403 222
Orkney: 01856 873 535
Perth & Kinross: 01738 476 173
Renfrewshire: 0800 169 1283
Scottish Borders: 01835 826 597
Shetland: 01595 693 535
South Ayrshire: 01292 612 000
South Lanarkshire: 01698 454 444
Stirling: 0845 277 7000
West Dunbartonshire: 01389 772 048
West Lothian: 0800 801 331
Alternative formats and community language versions of this leaflet can be ordered by calling 0131 244 4912.