£40 fines are helping police to tackle low level crime

POLICE are handing out eight £40 fines a day for breach of the peace, urinating in public and other "low level" crimes under a pilot scheme to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Figures to be revealed by the Executive today will show that more than 1,500 fixed penalty notices have been handed out by Tayside Police since the trial began in April this year.

Meanwhile, 16 vehicles have been seized and 366 warning notices issued.

The report on the Anti-social Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004's first year in force will also confirm that 210 ASBOs were introduced in 2004/05 - 42 per cent up on the previous year.

The justice minister, Cathy Jamieson, will tell delegates at a criminal justice system conference in Edinburgh today that much has been achieved in the first year of the anti-social behaviour measures. But she will add that she sees it as a first step towards rebuilding respect and improving the quality of life for decent, hard-working people.

The minister will tell the delegates: "Failing to deal with anti-social behaviour creates a downward spiral even in thriving communities and can put a stop to efforts to improve neighbourhoods that need most help.

"Left unchecked, anti-social behaviour undermines respect for both individuals and communities. But the concentration on ASBOs has often masked the success of other measures."

She will add: "For too long efforts to tackle ASB have been caricatured into a debate about prevention versus cure. It's not. It is changing behaviour that counts."