Scheme to help victims of anti-social behaviour

Too many victims of anti-social behaviour have slipped through the cracks and a new approach is needed to protect vulnerable people, the Home Office said today.

Eight police forces will change the way they respond to calls, introduce a new system to log complaints and improve their IT systems in a seven-month pilot project designed to help quickly identify and protect vulnerable victims.

The move follows the death of Fiona Pilkington who killed herself and her disabled daughter after years of abuse from a teenage gang.

Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire said: "It is not acceptable that those most in need either slip through the net or are plain ignored.

"The technology exists to allow agencies to introduce a smart way of handling such complaints and a simple way of sharing information - they need to use it.

"It is essential those who raise the alarm and ask for help are listened to and their complaints acted upon promptly."

Ms Pilkington, 38, torched her Austin Maestro car at a lay-by near her home in Barwell, Leicestershire, while she and 18-year-old Francecca Hardwick sat inside in October 2007.

Their deaths followed 10 years of torment at the hands of yobs who taunted them and pelted their property with stones, eggs and flour.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Edens, the lead on the issue for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said the pilot scheme "will focus on improving handling and logging of complaints as well as looking at improvements to IT systems to ensure information from partners is shared more easily".

The trials, in Avon and Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, South Wales, Sussex and West Mercia will run until July.

They will focus on creating an effective call handling system, identifying the most vulnerable victims, information-sharing between agencies and engaging with communities to "clearly set out the issues which are causing the most harm to individuals and neighbourhoods" and how they will be tackled, the Home Office said.

Home Secretary Theresa May has said the Government's approach to tackling anti-social behaviour must be turned on its head, with strong community action being used to bring back a sense of personal and social responsibility and to make anti-social behaviour "unusual, abnormal and something to stand up to".

She issued a "call to action" for community activists to tackle neighbourhood problems alongside frontline services last year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living