Last night I chaired our local Neighbourhood Police Panel. The agenda covered a review of the priorities which the Panel had set for our local Safer Neighbourhood Team in July and which included tackling the continued anti-social behaviour on the East Dulwich Estate. The Police reported that since the identities of the four young men subject to ASBOs on the Estate had been revealed in the South London Press together with their photos and the terms of their ASBOs, a number of residents on the Estate had come forward to inform the Police of other breaches. These residents - who had been unaware of the ASBOs before the SLP published the details - were now willing to give statements to the Police.
I will resist the temptation to say "I told you so", but it does appear clear that the public response to so-called 'naming and shaming' has been positive and resulted in an increase in community involvement in enforcing the ASBOs on the Estate.
What was equally interesting was the reaction of the other local residents on the Panel last night to this news. Put simply they wanted to know why the Council was not telling the community when ASBOs had been obtained and what the terms of those ASBOs are?
I cannot offer any rational answer as the benefits of giving the public this information seem overwhelming. So perhaps it is time that the LibDem / Tory coalition in charge of Southwark sorted out its muddled thinking on this matter, stopped posturing and started valuing our residents more than their failed political dogma. Come on Cllr Stanton - you've lost the argument on this one!