Following the publication of a review of Scotland’s approach to antisocial behaviour (ASB), the Scottish Government announced an independent working group to address the issue. The group will be co-chaired by Lorraine Gillies, Chief Officer of the Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) & Children & Young People’s Centre for Justice Director Fiona Dyer.

The report and working group follows on from significant work by the SCSN over the past few years on looking at taking a new approach to anti-social behaviour.

  •  2020 – SCSN hold event around ‘a new dialogue for ASB’ and publish research.
  • 2021 – The former Minister for Community Safety, Ash Regan MSP, asked theScottish Community Safety Network and the Scottish Government to undertake a review of antisocial behaviour​
  • 2022 – Engagement sessions with a representative cross-section ofstakeholders in Scotland held by the Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) and the Scottish Government (SG) ​
  • 2023 – ‘Reviewing Scotland’s Approach to ASB’ report published and workinggroup announced.

Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown MSP, said:

“We want everyone to be, and feel, safe in their community and we are committed to tackling all forms of antisocial behaviour. Reported antisocial behaviour has broadly been in decline over the last decade, but the recent disorder on Bonfire Night, in particular, has shown that where issues arise, these can have a very serious impact for many people.

“The report published today recommends that we need to consider how we best develop our long-term approach to preventing and addressing this type of behaviour. That is why I will be convening an independently chaired working group. It is nearly 20 years since the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 was introduced and it is right that we examine whether this remains fit for purpose and that we assess our wider approach.”

Upon being announced as co-chair Fiona Dyer said:

“I am really looking forward to working with colleagues to support the prevention of antisocial behaviour across Scotland. Research demonstrates the vital importance and value of better engaging, enabling, and supporting individuals and their communities to reduce incidents of antisocial behaviour.

“Through encouraging active prosocial behaviour within local communities, we can collectively address current issues and develop an inclusive and effective strategy that Scotland will be proud of.”

CYCJ welcomes the central focus on prevention and early intervention within this report. Antisocial behaviour is a complex problem, demanding a flexible, long-term approach. Different areas encounter different issues; solutions should adapt to the various strengths, assets and challenges within communities across Scotland. Engaging children, young people and communities, modelling prosocial behaviour, and providing opportunities is key to prevention, and building resilience. Find out more about the importance of prevention and early and effective intervention (EEI) in Section 10 of CYCJ’s Youth Justice Practice Guide.

Lorraine Gillies, Chief Officer at Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN):

“Ultimately, we believe victims will experience less antisocial behaviour with a changed approach, making our communities safer places. We believe in taking evidence-based approaches to what works to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour, focused on tackling root causes and working together with communities to find solutions.

I welcome the publication of our co-authored report – written in partnership with the Scottish Government – and the announcement of an independent working group, set up to review antisocial behaviour in-depth. I look forward to pursuing this work and, in doing so, improving people’s lives.”

Coauthored by SCSN and Scottish Government, the report follows extensive consultation with frontline staff, citizens, community groups and equality groups, exploring their experiences of ASB. Nineteen years on from the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 it calls for a new, long-term approach to antisocial behaviour, one that recognises the efficacy of prevention, encourages collective ownership and partnership working, and is able to adapt to societal changes.

Read ‘Reviewing Scotland’s Approach to Antisocial Behaviour’ here.

The Independent Working Group is seeking submissions & views on anti-social behaviour in Scotland, including on approaches to address this issue.

You can submit your views to the Independent Working Group at

Independent Working Group Membership includes: Tom Halpin – Scottish Police Authority, Kirsten Urquhart – Young Scot, Professor Lesley McAra – Edinburgh University, Lorrainne Meek – South Lanarkshire Council and Chair of the ASBOF, Mark MacNichol – Creative Change Collective, Kate Wallace – Victim Support Scotland

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