The children’s hearing system in Scotland would be given
additional powers to tackle antisocial behaviour, under the
Antisocial Behaviour Etc (Scotland) Bill, writes Maggie
The Scottish executive argues that, in retaining the involvement
of the hearing system, it has addressed concerns raised in
consultation that the system would be undermined by the bill.
The bill proposes that the hearing system would be able to
implement restriction of liberty orders to under-16’s to
allow electronic monitoring as a condition of a supervision
requirement. It is intended that these will only be used as part of
an intensive programme of supervision and support or as an
alternative to secure accommodation.
Children’s hearings would also be allowed to direct the
reporter to make an application for a parenting order where
Controversially, powers would also be given to the hearing
system to ensure that local authorities comply with the terms of
supervision requirements imposed by the system.
The Children’s Panel Chairman’s Group fully supports
the proposal to hold local authorities accountable for
non-compliance with the decisions of the hearing system, pointing
out that “all too often the hearing system takes the blame
for things outwith its control”.
However, local authorities maintain that the national crisis in
recruitment and retention of social workers has had a serious
impact on the authorities’ ability to implement supervision
orders in recent months.
Proposals include the extension of Antisocial Behaviour Orders
to 12- to 15- year olds, greater police powers to disperse groups
of young people, and increased use of electronic tagging and
Sheriff courts would also be able to require the reporter to
convene a hearing to look at a child’s circumstances,
including their welfare, when making a full or interim ASBO.