Retailers can help curb crime
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has urged retailers and councils to take advantage of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) to help curb vandalism and theft from shops and shoppers.

SRC director Fiona Moriarty said: 'We urge councils across the country to work with retailers to ensure that their needs, as vital hubs of local communities, are served by their anti-social behaviour strategies.'

In general, councils in Scotland have imposed fewer ASBOs than councils in England and Wales. To date, there have only been two retail-related ASBOs in Scotland.

The SRC encouraged Scottish retailers to contact their local council if the council had not already been in touch. The SRC believes each council should have a dedicated anti-social behaviour representative or unit.

The advantage of ASBOs is that offenders can be quickly banned from one or more retail premises, while there could be considerable delay between charge and conviction, with a Police prosecution, a spokeswoman added.

The comments come as the Scottish Executive today held a debate on the powers given to local authorities by the Anti-Social Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004.