Renfrewshire: Wardens get new powers to curb anti-social behavior

Renfrewshire Council officers will examine how the powers of Community Guardians can be strengthened to help tackle anti-social behaviour.

This follows the passage of a motion put forward by Independent Councilor Andy Doig who urged the local authority to build on a recently published strategy on the subject by considering further scrutiny.

Councilor Doig, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, spoke of ‘heartbreaking stories’ of bullying and harassment that have ravaged local communities.

He said downtown Johnstone is a particular hotspot for anti-social behavior.

The council agreed to consider “best practice” from other local authorities on this front before reporting to the communities, housing and planning board.

“There are two ways to deal with antisocial behavior,” Councilor Doig said. “We can deal with it procedurally – and the council’s procedures, compared to other councils in Scotland, are very good. They have been praised by other councils for their collaborative approach.

“It’s a way of approaching the problem. We also need to do more to address it on the front lines, where it really happens, in our communities, in our villages, in our programs, in our city centers.

“I have heard harrowing stories. Over the past five years I have heard appalling stories of anti-social behavior not exclusively but primarily in parts of downtown Johnstone.

“People have developed mental health issues due to the impact of low level bullying, harassment and continuous noise. We need to manage this better. »

Councilor Doig made it clear he wanted the role of community guardians ‘to remain within the scope of council’, but added: ‘I think we need to consider giving them more powers to work with the police.

“I think it’s important because we have to tackle it on the pitch.

“We have to be able to send our goalkeepers into situations where they make a difference.”

Councilor Cathy McEwan said sharing best practice with other local authorities also provides an opportunity to showcase the “good work” of Renfrewshire Council.

She added: “If we can add more to this by looking at other best practices, there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t.”

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