Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, has criticised Midlothian Council’s decision to disband the community safety teams last year. In an open letter to the leader of Midlothian Council, Cllr Derek Milligan, Mr Beattie has condemned a lack of support for those experiencing issues with anti-social behaviour in Midlothian, as a result of council cuts.
Colin Beattie MSP commented:
‘Anti-social behaviour can be life changing, and deeply upsetting for those who have to go through these experiences. Those who are victims of anti-social behaviour deserve proper support and thorough investigation into the incidents. I have been contacted by many constituents where anti-social behaviour has taken over their lives, but they are not being given sufficient support in dealing with it.’
‘Personally, I find it completely unacceptable that Midlothian Council have disbanded their Community Safety Team. It seems to me that residents of Midlothian are being left to sort out their own issues and being offered inadequate specialist support in cases of anti-social behaviour.’
‘The Council seemed to think that they could simply add the responsibilities of the community safety teams to the workload of the police. The issues which are now mounting up are proof that this plan is not fit for purpose. The police already have their resources stretched and by adding this extra work it means they are strained in dealing with urgent cases, and also that they are less likely to have the time needed to put into ASB cases, which are often complicated and need thorough investigations.’
‘More often than not, these cases are complex and they need time and understanding to receive a full picture of what is happening in our community. The remit of the police is already too broad to adequately cater for this.’
‘That’s why I have written to the Leader of the council, Cllr Derek Milligan, pleading with him to rethink his decision on the Community Safety Teams and to reinstate them, so that constituents experiencing anti-social behaviour get the help that they so desperately need.’