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Sunday, 24 December, 2000, 12:38 GMT
Executive backs yob curfews
Police officers on patrol
Police would be responsible for enforcing the curfews
Scotland's first minister has restated his support for youth curfews to crack down on juvenile crime.

Henry McLeish was home affairs minister at the Scottish Office when the curfew on youngsters under the age of 16 was introduced in Hamilton in 1997.

There had been widespread speculation during the early days of the Scottish Parliament that the Scottish Executive was not keen to see the idea taken up elsewhere in Scotland.

Mr McLeish has confirmed he believes the experiment has succeeded, although he stressed that decisions on the introduction of further curfews rest in the hands of police and local authorities.

Henry McLeish
Henry McLeish: "Worrying violence"
He said: "There is a violence to the Scottish culture that worries me.

"There is a yob culture - it is bad manners, it is ignorance, it is thuggery, it is violence.

"There is a balance in a civilised society about how much the state should take powers but on the other hand if people aren't exercising any responsibilities then at times we would simply take action that might not be required in other circumstances."

Under the curfew powers, anyone under 16 who strays from home during the hours of darkness without a good explanation faces being picked by the police and returned to their parents.

If there is no one at home they will be kept at the police station until their parents or guardians return.

Plans for legislation to introduce night time curfews in England and Wales was outlined in the Queens Speech.

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See also:

05 Dec 00 | Scotland
Teenage curfews warning
21 Jul 00 | Scotland
Tagging scheme extension plan
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