Labour have announced a new Action Squad, backed by new government funding, to help police and local agencies make full use of all the tools and powers available to tackle anti-social behaviour in every community.
Addressing an audience of police, anti-social behaviour coordinators and housing officers, Jacqui Smith, Labour’s Home Secretary called on them to make use of all the tools and powers available to tackle the seven per cent of persistent troublemakers who cause the most problems. She praised a successful project run by Essex Police known as Operation Leopard that has seen a 100 per cent success rate in targeting the hardcore of repeat offenders.
Jacqui Smith MP, Labour’s Home Secretary said:
“People shouldn’t have to put up with anti-social behaviour. We have put in place the teams, the powers and the know-how so that every community benefits from effective action that works. The Government is firmly on the side of communities where people have had enough and there will be no escape for persistent offenders. If you can’t behave properly it won’t just be the police watching you, but local councils, housing benefit officers, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the TV Licensing authority.
“The figures I have published today are further evidence of the progress we have made. Where tough enforcement is needed it is happening, but we are getting in there early, nipping problems in the bud and putting a stop to them before they get of out control.
“I also want to make clear the importance of tackling the causes of bad behaviour like poor parenting and intervening early at the first sign of problems to deliver the lasting changes that communities expect.”
Other measures outlined by the Home Secretary include: Better joined up working by local authorities and statutory agencies; more action on poor parenting to intervene early at the first sign of problems: courts will be required to consider making a Parenting Order when giving an ASBO to 10-17 year olds; a review of measures to address anti-social behaviour on public transport; new investment for the “Taking A Stand Awards???; and anti-social behaviour practitioners in every area will be given definitive guidance about every tool at their disposal and how best to use them.
Today’s announcement builds on Labour’s record of tackling anti-social behaviour. We have given every neighbourhood in England and Wales it’s own dedicated, visible, accountable Neighbourhood Police Team; Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are helping to protect whole neighbourhoods from the most serious troublemakers; and police and councils have new tools, such as dispersal orders and Penalty Notices for Disorder, and powers to crack down on alcohol-related crime, nuisance neighbours, graffiti and littering.
People shouldn’t have to put up with anti-social behaviour. Labour is firmly on the side of communities where people have had enough and there will be no escape for persistent offenders.
While Labour takes the tough and necessary measures to combat crime and anti-social behaviour, David Cameron’s hug-a-hoodie approach will not protect law-abiding families. He has repeatedly said that the solution is to show ‘more love’ to young louts.
The Tories talk tough but vote soft. The Tories have continually opposed key measures to tackle crime. They have voted against: tougher sentences for murder, sexual and violent offences; five year minimum sentences for carrying an illegal gun; allowing new trials for murder if new evidence comes to light; tougher measures to tackle terrorism; and allowing police more powers to take DNA from suspects.Other news from Labour Matters