Section 16 — Authorisations

Part of Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:30 am on 17th June 2004.

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Photo of Colin Fox Colin Fox SSP 11:30 am, 17th June 2004

I welcome the minister's recognition that it is young people themselves who suffer more than any other group in our community. That leads me on to another point of which the minister is aware. People talk about the young people in the children's hearings system as offenders, but the overwhelming majority of young people in the system initially went there because of welfare considerations, not because they were offenders.

In my last minute, I want to take up the point that the minister touched on—the right of young people to assemble. That is a human right and it is part of young people's civil rights. I am sure that the Parliament will want to ensure that powers of dispersal do not alienate young people or take away their right to assemble. We must also ensure that we do not simply disperse problems elsewhere. In Broomhouse, in Inch, where I live, and in all the communities that the Communities Committee has discussed, people would prefer us to give young people something to do that is better than hanging about on street corners. If the Executive did that, it would get the whole country's support.