Comment: No-one should feel scared to go outside

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BEING able to feel safe and secure in your home is surely the most basic expectation.

So it is difficult to imagine what some of the residents of Northfield have been experiencing in recent times.

We report today on a growing problem with anti-social behaviour in the area, from relatively minor incidents to horrific racist abuse.

The authorities are aware and to their credit, police are stepping up patrols while community safety teams meet with local residents.

As ever in these situations, there is only so much they can do.

If they catch those responsible then often by reasons of age there is no effective punishment.

Asbos, as we know, can become a badge of honour rather than an effective deterrent.

It is not a problem confined to one small area of Edinburgh and it is not going to be solved overnight.

But the solution has to be two-fold through education and deterrent.

We again hear residents today blaming the parents of teenage tearaways and while it may sound like a cliché, it is also probably true in the majority of cases.

How many know where their teenagers disappear to of an evening?

Responsibility lies in the home with support from the state through early intervention –though like everything else this requires heavy funding at a time of austerity.

At the same time, there must be a deterrent element for those who are making other people’s lives a misery for no good reason.

If the carrot doesn’t work then sometimes you have to bring out the stick.

We’re glad at least the specific issues in Northfield are being taken so seriously and hope residents will soon see an improvement in their quality of life.

No-one in Edinburgh today should feel scared to walk outside their front door or along the road to the shops.