Community Safety

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:35 pm on 21st February 2007.

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Photo of Johann Lamont Johann Lamont Labour 2:35 pm, 21st February 2007

I am quite happy to be corrected on that point. However, while the Tories were introducing an amnesty, they were creating such terrible mayhem in our communities without addressing the issue of crime that it has taken devolution and the measures that we have introduced, in terms of both investment and police powers, to address the challenges for our communities.

I realise that I have entirely run out of time, but I want to flag up issues around drugs and my recognition of the challenges posed by those issues. I commend the drug dealers don't care campaign and Crimestoppers. The campaign empowers communities by allowing people anonymity in reporting problems with drug dealers. We must recognise the critical work that it has done in communities. We have listened again to the challenges that people face when they are frightened by the crime that goes on around them. We must recognise how those communities are liberated when people are able to give information anonymously.

We know that people want to see crime fall, offenders punished and individuals take responsibility for their own actions. We have listened to those concerns and are delivering reforms and results that demonstrate that we are on people's side. We are doing practical things as a consequence of our commitment. We know and understand the challenges. We talk and work with people in communities who tell us how those challenges are experienced locally. We know that more action is required and we will not hold back until we win back respect at the heart of Scottish communities.

We have agreed that, from the next funding round in 2008, we should amalgamate community safety and antisocial behaviour funding streams and work with community safety partnerships to agree how that funding should be developed and supported for communities. We will continue to listen to what people tell us needs to be changed and to work with people in communities who are determined that safety and security should be our first priority.

I move,

That the Parliament acknowledges the good progress being made towards making our communities safer; notes that crime is falling and violent crime is at its lowest level since devolution; welcomes the record numbers of police officers now helping to prevent and detect crime; notes that antisocial behaviour legislation has made a real difference, with effective use being made by the police and local authorities of new measures contained in the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004; welcomes work by community safety partnerships to focus resources on tackling crime and disorder in response to local community needs, and supports the Scottish Executive's determination to keep working with communities and to make further progress with its partners towards ensuring that decent and law-abiding people can feel safe in their homes and on their streets wherever they live.