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Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has welcomed the announcement by NIO Criminal Justice Minister John Spellar of draft proposals for the creation of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders in Northern Ireland.

Dr Farry stated:

“The introduction of these measures was a significant plank in our recent Assembly Manifesto.

“There is a groundswell of support among the police, district Councils and some public sector agencies for the introduction of these orders into Northern Ireland.

“Most elected representatives are inundated with complaints from residents, particularly the elderly and other vulnerable people, about persistent anti-social behaviour. Problems can include: youths hanging around and being loutish, vandalism and criminal damage, drunken behaviour and underage drinking, harassment of residents or passers-by. At times, it is not each individual incident that causes the problem, but the rapid accumulation of a number of similar incidents.

“In Northern Ireland, when the police and courts do not have the powers to tackle these problems, paramilitaries often try to exploit the resultant vacuum.

“Anti-Social Behaviour Orders have been used to some effect in Great Britain since 1999. Home Office research published in 2002 found that the orders had delivered real improvements in the quality of life in numerous communities.”

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry has condemned this afternoon’s murder in Belfast City Centre, and on the day of the European Court judgment, asked how many people are going to condemn this abuse of human rights.

Stephen Farry said:

“Once again, a human life has been taken with impunity, this time in broad deadlight in the centre of Belfast.

“Such murders are the greatest abuses of human right possible.

“Today, the news agenda has been dominated by the statement of the judgment of the European Court that the human rights of IRA members on ‘active service’ were abused by the failure of the authorities to properly investigate their deaths.

“What this judgment says that is every citizen, irrespective of their background or conduct, are entitled to have their rights protected – the rule of law must be paramount.

“Yet, how many people are going to speak out about the human rights abuses involved in this brutal murder.”