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Asbos not the complete answer to problem of anti-social behaviour

8 January, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on community safety, West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff commenting on the newly published proposals on tackling anti-social behaviour has said that the reliance on Asbos is not the complete answer and said that fundamentally a new beginning to policing and a resources for

community initiatives such as Community Restorative Justice are vital.

Cllr McElduff said:

"In theory the use of Asbos could be a very useful tool in tackling anti-social behaviour. However, the reality is that we do not have an acceptable police service and we have a justice system that is failing people.

"It is madness that the very people, namely the PSNI, who often turn a blind eye to the activities of anti-social criminals on our streets so long as they continue to act as informers and continue to destabilise nationalist and republican communities would become responsible for enforcing Asbos.

"Fundamentally we need to see the new beginning to policing that was promised in the Good Friday Agreement five years ago and the creation of a new police service that is representative and accountable and that is not driven by the political agenda of the Special Branch.

"We also need to see greater resources put into community led initiatives such as Community Restorative Justice that focus of rebuilding relationships with the community, challenging offenders behaviour and supporting victims seek to create long-term solutions to the problems of anti-social behaviour and criminality in our communities. We also need to see more resources put into communities where there are the greatest problems with anti-social behaviour." ENDS

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