Sinn Féin - On Your Side

ASBOs not the solution to movement of Travellers

17 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Human Rights and Equality Spokesperson, South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane commenting on the protest outside the Housing Executive today at 4pm against the use of ASBOs to target the movement of people from the Travelling Community has said that ASBOs do not provide a solution to anti-social behaviour and added that the legal challenge to the legality of ASBO legislation in the Six Counties because of the failure to carry out an Equality Impact Assessment only further undermines arguments to support their introduction here.

Ms Ruane said:

"The current legal challenge to the introduction of ASBOs here only serves to undermine their credibility.

"At the time John Speller first started to push this legislation through Sinn Féin and many others warned that not only did they threaten the rights of people but that they would also be both as ineffective as they have been in England and open to abuse.

"Any attempt by the Housing Executive, Councils or the PSNI to use ASBOs has to date been a failure. There are also deep concerns within the broad human rights community here that they are being used in a discriminatory manner to deal with a problem that is far more complex and that will not be resolved by restricting people's movements.

"The use of ASBOs to target the movements of people from the Travelling community undermines their fundamental human rights. It is an attempt to use this legislation to deal with a situation that has in itself been created by the failed response to the issues of accommodation for the Travelling community.

"The use of ASBOs is not a solution to the problem of anti-social behaviour. The solution will only come through progress on policing, in more resources for community led initiatives such as Community Restorative Justice and in programmes that both challenge offending behaviour and tackle poverty, unemployment and educational under achievement." ENDS

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