Community Safety

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:12 pm on 21st February 2007.

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Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green 3:12 pm, 21st February 2007

I appreciate that argument from the minister, which I have heard several times. However, I argue that, although police priority for the issue was needed, new enforcement measures were not required for that to happen.

I move on to the environmental aspects, in respect of which the same authoritarian actions often take place. The urban built environment can have a profound impact on people's behaviour. We commonly hear politicians calling for more use of closed-circuit television in problem areas, despite the fact that the United Kingdom as a whole uses more CCTV in public areas than any other country on Earth. Changing the built environment through, for example, better public lighting can have a far better impact on people's behaviour.

I will close with another comment from Kathleen Marshall. In looking at play, structured activity and all the other activities that should be available, she said that

"there should be some time and legitimate space for unstructured fun; for 'hanging around' with friends and potential friends."

That is something that young people have a right to—it is wrong to label it all as antisocial behaviour.