Scots bill passed despite concerns.

    The Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Bill was passed in Scottish
    parliament last week by 103 votes to 11 – despite concerns from
    children’s charities and Scotland’s new children’s
    commissioner.

    Measures in the bill include extending antisocial behaviour orders
    to 12 to 15 year olds, introducing parenting orders, extending
    electronic tagging of children and strengthening the options
    available to children’s hearings for dealing with antisocial
    behaviour.

    The bill will also allow the police to designate areas as dispersal
    zones if a member of the public feels “alarmed” by the presence of
    two or more young people.

    Tam Baillie, assistant policy officer for Barnardo’s Scotland, said
    the charity was satisfied that the hearing system would play a key
    role in advising sheriffs whether an Asbo was required for a young
    person under 16 but that it remained sceptical about the bill’s
    other measures.

    Baillie said the proposal to disperse groups would have “little or
    no impact” in tackling antisocial behaviour and could damage the
    fragile relations between young people and the police.

    Children’s commissioner Kathleen Marshall said the dispersal
    measures were a disproportionate response to the legitimate
    concerns about community safety. She added that children had a
    right to engage in social behaviour.

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