By Bill Heaney
Anti-social behaviour in West Dunbartonshire is rife with nearly 1000 cases recorded in the most recent statistics.
So why has the SNP administration slashed the budget for dealing with this?
Labour councillor David McBride, who represents the West End of Dumbarton, will be raising this at a council meeting on Thursday.
His motion reads that he is “concerned that although the anti-social behaviour budget has been cut, the number of cases continue to increase.”
In 2017/18 the anti-social behaviour budget was £719,000 and there were 312 anti-social behaviour cases during the year.
Cllr McBride added: “However by 2020/21 the budget reduced to £398,000 and the number of anti-social behaviour cases had increased to 978.
Council CEO Joyce White and Cllr David McBride, Labour member for West End.
“The 2021/22 budget increased slightly to £446,000 but before the mid-year point, the number of anti-social behaviour cases had reached 511, which suggests that the total instances could exceed 1,000 by the end of the financial year. “
He has drawn the Council’s attention to the fact that staff cuts now mean the Council only operates with a maximum of three anti-social behaviour officers on duty each day and the service ends at 02:00.
In addition the number of mediation referrals has also steadily reduced from 93 in 2017, 71 in 2018, 41 in 2019, and to 13 in 2020/21 when the service was suspended due to COVID.
There have been no referrals during the current financial year 2021/22.
Cllr McBride is asking the Council to demand that Chief Executive Joyce White bring forward a report to a future Council meeting setting out the details of the anti-social behaviour service including staffing levels, case work and operational arrangements across the whole Council area.