The Big Question

Do you doff your cap to the government’s 40 new Respect areas?

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
I’m a bit cynical about this whole project. I think that the local authorities have signed on for the cash primarily. Although useful, it takes more than money to sort out the problems that lie at the root of antisocial behaviour. A real understanding and a real will to succeed are far more important. Asbos are the antithesis of this to my mind.

Eve Rank – Inspired Services
I wouldn’t doff my cap to Tony Blair or any other bloody politician. Teenagers will be teenagers whatever. Remember when you were young? Some don’t do as they are told, no matter what parents do. There are ways of working with kids, giving them better things to do and getting them off the streets, but it will need a good deal more funding than currently.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
If more money is to be invested in tackling antisocial behaviour, it must be invested at the grassroots. Tackle the problem early – when children are very young. To wait until later is pointless, the problem is too deeply embedded by then. We have to be patient, initiatives can take a long time to bear fruit and should form part of a much longer term plan.

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
This is all part of the blaming and punishing approach to children and their parents. These people aren’t always bad, just misguided. More community involvement is needed, perhaps through running youth support centres that provide activities and bring people together. The Respect plan is like putting a plaster on a bleeding vein.


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