Nine ASBOs issued despite thousands of complaints

Antisocial behaviour
Antisocial behaviour

East Dunbartonshire Council have pursued just nine ASBOs in the last four years despite thousands of complaints of anti-social behaviour.

Figures obtained by the Herald show local residents have reported a total of 6,651 incidents to the local authority since 2010.

Meanwhile,East Dunbartonshire police received more than a thousand similar complaints between April and June of this year alone.

Despite the high number of issues raised, the council have taken legal action sparingly, raising concerns as to the effectiveness of ASBOs in curbing anti-social behaviour.

Diane Campbell, director of governance and regulation with the council, said they would only seek ASBOs as a method of last resort.

She claimed it is their policy to avoid court action, where possible, and to seek resolution through mediation, addiction and social work services.

She said: “The council takes its responsibility in relation to the welfare of our residents very seriously and works hard to protect their rights.

“ASBOs are pursued only when all other options have failed to resolve a situation.

“The fact that the council has pursued legal action on very few occasions, demonstrates the good work done with partners to resolve these situations without the need for a formal ASBO.

“It’s important to also be aware that, in Scotland, ASBOs are served on an individual at their home address, therefore they are only used in specific circumstances.”

Anti-social behaviour complaints are made about a wide range of matters, including, for example, dog fouling, litter, graffiti and youth disorder.

ASBOs are obtained in response to neighbour disputes — such as excessively loud music, people being heard to shout, swear, argue and fight, — in a manner that causes the occupants of other properties to be ‘placed in a state of fear, alarm or distress’.

Mrs Campbell added: “Across our communities there are different levels of tolerance and what one member of the public considers worthy of complaint, another may not.”