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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Housing body defends Asbo threat
Children (generic)
Housing officials say Asbos would be a last resort
A housing association has defended its threat to take out anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) on families of unruly children living on an estate.

Kingdom Housing Association tenants in Dunfermline have been issued with letters after concerns about damage to cars and plants.

The warnings were issued following complaints in Inverewe Place to homes with children no older than six.

Local councillor Mike Rumney said the move was "very heavy handed".

The letter threatens parents with a court order and even eviction if the problems continue.

The release, which was sent out on 14 September, states: "It has been brought to our attention that some of the young children within the area have been destroying the plants at the private block of flats at Inverewe Place, Dunfermline, with their bicycles and also piling boulders on the bonnets of residents' cars.

"We would therefore ask tenants with young children to speak with them and request that if people do not take warnings on board the next step if individual households are identified would be anti-social behaviour orders and notices of proceedings."

I am amazed at such heavy handed measures when dealing with such young children
Councillor Mike Rumney

The street, which is part of what has been dubbed the biggest housing development in western Europe, has rented accommodation as well as bought properties.

Councillor Rumney, whose Linburn ward covers Inverewe Place, said he would be offering his support to the residents.

He said: "I was shocked and surprised that such a letter would be sent out from such a reputable housing association.

"I am amazed at such heavy handed measures when dealing with such young children.

"They should have discussed any problems with parents rather than sending out letters like this. I would ask them to reconsider their position on the matter."

'Sorted out'

A Kingdom Housing Association spokeswoman said: "Kids will be kids. But damage to cars and plants is not acceptable, and we can't ignore the many complaints we have received.

"As was previously intimated in the letter to the residents, as a last resort, we will consider court action or anti-social behaviour orders.

"But we think, with the help of the parents, we'll get this sorted out without going to court.

"We realise that anti-social behaviour orders cannot be taken out against children under 12 years of age."

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