We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
Ministers on the Cabinet's children and young people delivery group met the commissioner in June. They had positive discussions about the commissioner's priorities and about the Executive's agenda to support and encourage young people to achieve their potential and to make positive lifestyle choices. That includes diverting a small minority of young people away from antisocial behaviour.
That is excellent, as far as it goes. Will the minister consider using the commissioner as one method of reassuring young people that they are not being stigmatised, because a lot of the publicity surrounding antisocial behaviour—which I am sure did not reflect anything that the minister said, although the message appeared in the media a lot—was seen by young people as anti-them? Anything that we can do to persuade them that the act is not anti-them would be helpful. The commissioner could help in that way.
I appreciate that the commissioner could be helpful, but I would not want to suggest to her what her agenda should be. However, Donald Gorrie is correct in saying that at no time during the debate on antisocial behaviour did any minister say that the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 was anti-young people. In fact, we continually reiterated the point that it was often young people themselves who were the victims of antisocial behaviour.
Ministers have continued to speak with young people. I met young people recently in Elgin in Moray to discuss issues around antisocial behaviour and how they are being addressed within the local area. It is important that we continue to have such dialogue. In fact, just last week, on 11 September, YouthLink Scotland held a conference to ensure that young people had an opportunity to examine the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004, to comment on it and to see how it would affect their lives.
I hope that the minister agrees with me that in any future dialogue with the children's commissioner it is important that ministers express the strong view that the needs of young people such as those in my constituency who are chased away from youth
It is clear that our reason for progressing the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 was to improve the quality of life of all people throughout Scotland, which includes children and young people.