The big debate with Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling dominated political discussion last week.

But as I have often said in this column, debates such as these are not always relevant to peoples everyday lives.

Indeed, for many there are far more pressing issues at hand.  One such issue is the anti-social behaviour and criminality in certain parts of the town.

I’m saddened to report that my casework in this area is increasing.  Only this week, I have been contacted by several residents who have told me horror stories relating to violent crimes in their neighbourhood.

Life can be stressful enough without having to deal with this problem on your door step.

The police, of course, have done their best to respond to these concerns as quickly as possible.

And while this short-term response is welcome and necessary, we need all the powers to come together to urgently develop long-term strategies, to help bring to an end the unsatisfactory conditions residents are living with.

Landlords need to take full responsibility for their housing allocation and managing their tenants.

The legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament to deal with anti-social behaviour needs to be enforced.

And the courts have to ensure that there are consequences for those who commit crimes. They need to remember that offences that they might regard as minor are causing misery for residents.

The people that have contacted me are honest, hardworking individuals who are not asking for much. All they want is to live in peace and to be able to get on with life.

At the moment they are finding this impossible.  We have a responsibility to put this right.

I’ll be doing my bit to bring all the agencies together to ensure that people can live their lives in peace.