Dundee is Scotland’s Asbo capital for fourth time

DUNDEE is the Asbo capital of Scotland – and has been for the past four years, it has emerged.

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Dundee Sheriff Court has granted more anti-social behaviour orders than any other court since the beginning of 2010, a Freedom of Information request has found.

From 2010 to 2014, sheriffs there gave out almost three times as many civil Asbos as were given in Glasgow, and 27 more than in Edinburgh.

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They handed down 69 full and 46 interim civil Asbos between 1 January, 2010, and 11 March, 2014. The figure for Aberdeen was 52 full and nine interim.

In addition, two criminal Asbos – a third category seldom imposed as a result of a criminal case and at the discretion of a sheriff – have been issued in Dundee since 2010, both between January and March this year.

Dundee City Council’s housing convener John Alexander insisted improvements to the way anti-social complaints are handled may have contributed to

a drop in the number of orders issued between 2012 and 2013.

However, the number of Asbos registered with Dundee Sheriff Court has fluctuated from year to year.

In 2010, a total of 17 were sought, compared with 17 in 2011, 24 in 2012 and 18 last year.

A total of eight Asbo applications have already been made between 1 January and 11 March this year.

Furthermore, it was revealed that 309 Asbos have been handed out at the ten courts in Tayside, Fife and Forth Valley since the start of 2010 – more than 25 per cent of the 1,137 delivered at the 49 courts across Scotland.

In 2011, Dundee Sheriff Court issued 23 orders, rising to 40 in 2012 and down to 18 last year.

Mr Alexander insisted that the dip showed the new Community Safety Hub (CSH) was starting to take effect.

He said: “People are feeling more comfortable about reporting anti-social behaviour, and our night noise and anti-social behaviour teams have been working closely with Police Scotland to make that happen.

“We are being much more pro-active in terms of dealing with anti-social behaviour and it is a case of trying to nip it in the bud before it has to come to court.

“What we do is try to open up a dialogue between neighbours to get in early and start dealing with the problem.”

The data requested included statistics for full civil, interim civil and the rare criminal Asbos.

In Fife, a combined total of 119 orders have been made since the start of 2010, with 34 in Dunfermline, 24 in Cupar and 61 in Kirkcaldy.

Perth Sheriff Court saw just 16 and Stirling 24. Falkirk Sheriff Court issued 63, 21 more than in Glasgow, despite having a much smaller population.

With a total of 117 Asbos, Dundee was responsible for more than 10 per cent of the national haul.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “An anti-social behaviour order can be an effective tool to suppress anti-social behaviour and give some respite to people who are negatively affected by the behaviours involved.”