Three wards top league as Asbos on rise in Capital

Omar Makdad was given an Asbo for wiring his stereo and vacuum together to annoy a neighbour
Omar Makdad was given an Asbo for wiring his stereo and vacuum together to annoy a neighbour
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A RISING number of anti- social behaviour orders are being granted in the Capital, with 20 residents hit with the orders in the last year.

New figures revealed that a total of 77 Asbos have been issued in Edinburgh in the last five years, although only 24 are currently in force.

Sighthill/Gorgie is the ward where the highest number of Asbos have been given out, at 13, with Craigentinny/Duddingston and Portobello/Craigmillar both at 12.

Only Meadows/Morningside and Almond of the city’s 17 wards have not had an Asbo granted against a resident.

Playing loud music, excessive noise and threatening behaviour were among the most common reasons for the court orders being granted. Among the other factors cited were criminal activity, littering, slamming doors, and shoplifting.

Twenty Asbos were issued between April last year and March, compared with 12 in 2010-11 and nine in 2009-10.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson, who represents the Sighthill/Gorgie ward, said: “I think Asbos are quite effective. The fact that they are being used more is probably due in part to the orders being pursued more effectively. They are seen as a useful tool.

“I don’t believe the number of Asbos granted in Sighthill/Gorgie is a reflection of the level of problems here. It is probably the fact that the police and council have used them well.”

Elsewhere in the Lothians, figures released under Freedom of Information laws showed that Midlothian has seen 37 Asbos granted in the last five years while West Lothian had 34.

Last month, it was revealed 42 had been issued in East Lothian but 338 people were currently being investigated for possible Asbos.

None of the other councils disclosed how many “live” investigations were on their books.

Councillor Cammy Day, vice- convenor for health and social care, said: “Tackling antisocial behaviour is an important priority for the council. There has been a 24 per cent drop in the number of complaints relating to [antisocial behaviour] in the last year, and the most recent residents’ survey showed increasing satisfaction with the way we deal with these complaints.”

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, Edinburgh’s divisional commander, said: “As part of our community commitment pledge, officers regularly interact with the public to identify the root causes of crime and wherever possible tackle these issues. Individuals who continually offend will become subject to an antisocial behaviour order. Failure to adhere to the terms of an Asbo will undoubtedly result in further police action.”

The most infamous city resident to be hit with an Asbo was convicted killer Jamie Bain, who was given an order in Liberton/Gilmerton following noise complaints just months before he carried out The Marmion pub shootings in 2006.

Serial shoplifter Mandy Horsburgh was given an Asbo in May 2007 that banned her from the Westside Plaza Shopping Centre in Wester Hailes. And Omar Makdad received an Asbo in June 2008 after wiring together a vacuum cleaner, TV, radio and stereo to produce the sound of a “jet landing” to annoy a neighbour in Restalrig.

Number of Asbos granted in Edinburgh (full and interim)

2007-8 10

2008-9 26

2009-10 9

2010-11 12

2011-12 20

Total 77

Number of Asbos granted (April 2007 to March 2012)

Sighthill/Gorgie 13

Craigentinny/Duddingston 12

Portobello/Craigmillar 12

Liberton/Gilmerton 9

Leith Walk 5

Forth 4

Southside/Newington 4

Leith 4

Drumbrae/Gyle 3

Corstorphine/Murrayfield 2

Pentland Hills 2

City centre 2

Colinton 2

Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart 2

Inverleith 1