The Alliance Party has welcomed today’s formal introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders into Northern Ireland.
The Government has today signed a commencement order which brings in to force legislation to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Dr Stephen Farry commented:
“The formal introduction of ASBOs now raises the prospect of alleviating some of the stress that many of our citizens suffer from regular anti-social behaviour.
“Despite the concerns of some NGOs, there is strong support for these measures at the grassroots level.
“Of course, ASBOs must only be one part of a wider strategy to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, addressing the underlying causes as to why people engage in such activities.
“However, we must recognise that there are far too many people have their human rights and their ability to live in peace and quiet disrupted by unruly youths and indeed adults who do need immediate relief from these problems.
“There is substantial evidence from the experience in Great Britain that they can make a difference. In Northern Ireland, rather than playing into the hands of the paramilitaries, I believe that ASBOs can help to undermine them, by filling that void where the criminal law is presently ineffective and that paramilitaries are exploiting within their communities.
“The challenge for government and for the relevant agencies involved is now to put in place effective plans for implementing ASBOs on the ground.
“With the greater number of actors in Northern Ireland potentially involved, it is crucial that this new power does not fall through the jurisdictional cracks with everyone passing the buck to each other.”