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
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
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
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.