Anti-social behaviour reforms give victims greater say in way their reports of ASB are dealt with
On Monday 20 October 2014, the way the police, councils and housing associations deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB) changed. The Government has undertaken a review of ASB powers, and has introduced legislation that will simplify the process whereby action can be taken.
The Shropshire Safer Stronger Communities Partnership believes that all residents and tenants have the right to live peacefully within their home and communities, and is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour. In order to do this, the partnership has introduced a single reporting number for people to report incidents of anti-social behaviour, and has established a co-located team in order to address ASB.
Since 2009, the number of incidents of ASB in Shropshire has fallen but, despite the reduction, the Partnership is not complacent. Partners continue to work together to address everyday crime and disorder described as anti-social behaviour – from vandalism and graffiti to drug dealing and harassment – which has an impact on the quality of life of everyone in Shropshire.
If residents and tenants want to report anti-social behaviour they can call 0345 678 9020. This number gives everyone a single point of contact in order to report anti-social behaviour and is available 24/7. You can also call West Mercia Police on 101. If the call is urgent then we would encourage people to ring 999.
The ASB Co-located Team was established to provide help and advice when additional resources are required, or where the issue requires a co-ordinated multi-agency response. This team has helped in ongoing investigations, started new investigations when requested, and provided support when necessary.
Karen Calder, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health, said:
“We are committed to improving the quality of people’s lives, and in giving agencies and organisations more effective powers to tackle anti-social behaviour. People will be able to feel safer in their homes and communities, which will afford them their right of living peacefully.”
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, said:
“Although the number of incidents of ASB in Shropshire has fallen, Shropshire Council is committed to working with partners to address everyday crime and disorder, to improve the quality of life of everyone in the county. This new legislation will allow Shropshire Council, police and housing providers to take action to address frequent ASB hotspots and perpetrators more quickly, to give better protection for victims and communities.”
Superintendent James Tozer, West Mercia Police, said:
“Anti-social behaviour is a term that covers a very wide range of problems. They can have a real impact upon people’s quality of life. The police have always worked hard with partners to try and understand the often complicated problems that can arise. It is only by working together that we can help people through, and find more lasting solutions. The extra powers will not always be needed, but will help us all to improve the quality of life for our communities.”
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
The act aims to give agencies and organisations simpler and more effective powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in order to give better protection for victims and communities. While most issues will continue to be resolved through support and early intervention, the new powers will allow councils, police and housing providers to take swifter action to address persistent ASB hotspots and perpetrators. The new powers will see the end of ASBOs and the introduction of the following powers:
- Civil Injunction (not available until January 2015)
- Criminal Behaviour Order
- Closure Order
- Community Protection Notice
- Dispersal Powers
- Public Spaces Protection Order
- Discretionary grounds for possession
- Absolute grounds for possession
- Community Remedy.
For those who have not been satisfied with the response they have had when reporting anti-social behaviour, the Government has introduced a new power aimed at giving victims the right to request a review of their reports of anti-social behaviour, and bring agencies together to take a joined-up, problem-solving approach to their case.
Community Trigger – gives victims the ability to demand action, starting with a review of their case, where the locally-defined threshold is met. The Community Trigger process is to be locally-defined and agreed by the relevant bodies and responsible authorities:
- Clinical Commissioning Group
- Social housing providers who are co-opted into the group.
The Police and Crime Commissioner must be consulted on the Community Trigger process when it is established and reviewed.
The Safer Stronger Communities Partnership is the community safety partnership for Shropshire, made up of the West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Clinical Commissioning Group, West Mercia Youth Offending Service, the Probation Service and the Community Rehabilitation Company.