Theresa May outlines plans to deal with anti-social behaviour

 

Plans to give communities tougher protection from anti-social behaviour will be piloted in the summer, the Home Secretary will say today.

Theresa May wants to put an end to the “horror stories” of victims being ignored despite making repeated complaints to the authorities about problem neighbours.

In a speech on police reform in London, Ms May will say work has begun with local authorities on the “community trigger” scheme the Government announced last year.

Under the plans action must be taken to tackle nuisance behaviour if five people in different homes across the same neighbourhood complain. Community Safety Partnerships, made up of police and councils, will be able to reject any complaints they believe are malicious.

Mrs May will say: “It's too easy to overlook the harm that persistent anti-social behaviour causes. Many police forces, councils and housing providers are working hard, but I still hear horror stories of victims reporting the same problem over and over again, and getting no response.

“These long-running problems - and the sense of helplessness that goes with them - can destroy a victim's quality of life and shatter a community's trust in the police.

“That's why we proposed a 'community trigger' as part of our reforms to anti-social behaviour laws. The trigger will give victims and communities the right to demand that agencies who had ignored a problem must take action.

“So we are now working with a number of local authorities to test the 'community trigger' on the ground, and pilots will begin by the summer.”

Shadow Home Office minister Gloria DePiero said: “This is a belated and weak announcement from the Home Secretary which shows how out of touch she is with the anti-social behaviour problems many communities face.

“After two years of doing nothing to tackle anti-social behaviour, the Home Secretary has to do better than a few pilots that won't start until the summer, and which seem to suggest that anti-social behaviour should not be taken seriously if only two or three people complain.

“Most right-minded people will also wonder why it should take five different people complaining to get a response from agencies that are there to protect the public and deal with the minority who can make life unbearable.

“Even if only one person complains, their concerns should be investigated and treated seriously.

“The Home Secretary's record on anti-social behaviour is lamentable. Her plans mean it will no longer be a criminal offence to breach an asbo (anti-social behaviour order) and she is cutting 16,000 police officers and thousands of community officers and staff, so that chief constables from Gloucester to South Yorkshire have said neighbourhood policing is being jeopardised.

“The Home Secretary has no serious plan to help cut crime or anti-social behaviour. She is only cutting police officers instead.”

PA

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

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003