Galloway wrong on behaviour

1st July 2005 at 01:00
I am pleased that George Galloway MP has gone back on his criticism of Tower Hamlets schools "A long way from lacking Respect",( TES, June 10). He now realises that they are, after 10 years of rapid improvement, among the most successful inner-city schools in the country, with many performing above the national average.

In his letter Mr Galloway does, however, criticise the work that the Government and councils have done to tackle anti-social behaviour, citing a current dispersal order (he calls it an Asbo) on the Isle of Dogs as an example of Labour stigmatising young people.

We know measures to tackle anti-social behaviour risk criminalising the young if used indiscriminately. Our approach is to combine the use of additional police powers to disperse persistent trouble-makers with providing positive alternatives for young people with schools and youth service providers.

The good behaviour zone that has been operating in part of the Isle of Dogs is a partnership initiative responding to community concerns about anti-social behaviour and has been warmly welcomed by residents and local businesses.

Crime in the area fell by 50 per cent in the first two weeks of the initiative, compared to the same period in the year before. This creates an environment where young people, as well as all other ages, can live, work, learn and be part of the area's regeneration.

Michael Keith

Leader, Tower Hamlets Council Mulberry Place 5 Clove Crescent, London E14

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