Scotland’s first children’s commissioner has criticised the
“punitive approach” of the Scottish executive towards the
antisocial behaviour of children.
Kathleen Marshall said she shared the concerns of children’s
agencies in Scotland, and accused the executive of creating “a
punitive atmosphere without providing sufficient resources to deal
with the problem”.
She said the children’s hearing system would be well placed to deal
with antisocial behaviour but that it had lacked the resources to
implement all its solutions.
The system was “struggling with minimum resources”, while the
executive’s initiatives to tackle youth crime were given
“fantastic” resources, she added.
Proposals in the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Bill include the
extension of antisocial behaviour orders to 12- to 15-year-olds,
greater police powers to disperse groups of young people, and more
use of electronic tagging and parenting orders.
Marshall, a child law consultant at Glasgow University’s centre for
the child and society, will take up her commissioner post in April.