Evening Express blasts council over name and shame ban

By Hamish Mackay

The Evening Express in Aberdeen has hit out
at its local council’s political leaders for ruling out “naming and
shaming” troublemakers given anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos).

The
newspaper has gone on the attack after Aberdeen City Council leader
Kate Dean and her Lib Dem colleague councillor Martin Greig claimed a
move to publicise culprits’ identities would only stigmatise them and
drive them into worse behaviour.

The council duo said the council will only consider naming and shaming offenders who persistently breach an Asbo.

The
Evening Express gave the issue dramatic front-page treatment and a
two-page inside spread after councillor Dean returned from a
fact-finding trip to Manchester City Council which currently has 480
people subject to Asbos and a policy of naming them all.

The
Evening Express backs the Manchester policy and claimed: “We deserve to
know just who is so out of control they have to be told to behave – or
else.

“When Grampian Police wants us to be their eyes and ears, this would make sense.

“If they want us to join the fight against crime it would help if Aberdeen City Council told us who needs watching.”

The
evening paper, reporting that “our wishy-washy councillors say they
might consider naming people who repeatedly breach orders,” pointed
out: “But at that point an Asbo has failed with more victims suffering.

“We should know who the thugs are from the start – they have already had their chance.

“The
prospect of being publicly shamed will deter people from acting in an
anti-social way. The public should be protected by the city council –
not louts and thugs.”

However, councillor Greig, chairman of the
Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership, is refusing to back down, and
claimed that “further publicity of names and addresses would, we
believe, not be of benefit and would undermine the effectiveness of
Asbos.”

A Manchester council spokesman said: “We need to let
communities know so they can keep an eye on perpetrators and let us
know if an Asbo has been breached.”

Manchester’s council names
Asbo offenders and leaflets homes. The leaflets carry mugshots, details
of the crime, the terms of the Asbo and a map showing the geographical
extent of any banning order.

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