Friday, 21 December 2007

Needle Exchange

That excellent blogger Clairwill and I seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to drug abuse and discarded needles:

The press release I put out on the subject has received a fair amount of coverage, and surprisingly, it seems to have been given the seal of approval locally. There seems to be an expectation of change now, with many people simply fed up with having to put up with anti social behaviour from people who think it is their right to behave in any matter that suits them on the basis that they know their rights and someone will pick up, not only after them, but also pick up the tab for their behaviour and their kids behaviour.

Many people refuse even to pay their rent, seeing it only as an interest free loan (on top of their anti social behaviour). When eventually all the legal hoops (and I'm talking a three ring circus here) , have been jumped through (as well as intervention/support mechanisms etc), and it goes to court for eviction there is no guarantee that a Sherriff or Procurator Fiscal will make much (if any) effort to back up the council and may not even grant the eviction order. What this says to the person is that their tenancy agreement is not worth the paper its written on and they can do what they look because the Sherriff/Fiscal won't exercise their powers.

Now I don't know any Sherriffs and I have only met one Procurator Fiscal, but I'm guessing that not many of these guys live next door to the kind of people that refuse to pay their rent and choose to treat their neighbours with complete contempt. In fact if they did, I suspect they could well afford to move. But many of those who live, say in a fairly small block of council flats where everyones life is a misery because of perhaps one individual or family cannot do so. So when the council goes to the extraordinary lengths of trying to evict someone like this, the legal profession should perhaps bear this in mind rather than wringing their hands and treating people with kid gloves.

Its not going to change overnight, but things do need to change, and that means that the legal profession, as well as local/national govt need to be prepared to take a firmer line. I'm all for personal rights, but equally, I'm all for those rights to be tempered by personal responsibilites too.


1st Lady said...

I know one particular Scottish Sherriff very well.. unfortunately he's a complete loony. Scarey to think he calls the shots in court.

Jim said...

Ditto with the Procurator Fiscal 1st Lady! I see a theme developing here...........