Welsh Office Minister David Jones has welcomed measures unveiled by the Home Office to protect communities from the serious harm caused by criminal and anti-social behaviour.
The plans, which are out for consultation, include a ‘community trigger’ which will compel local agencies to investigate anti-social behaviour if it has been reported by several people or by the same person three times.
A new criminal behaviour order will ban an individual from certain activities or places and require them to address their behaviour. A breach would see an individual face a maximum five year prison term.
Welcoming the plans, Mr Jones said: “Anti-social behaviour has been a problem in our communities for far too long. That is why this Government is taking action to address this terrible crime.
“The plans out for consultation today signal a new approach which will better support the victim whilst making it easier for the authorities to take fast effective action. By adopting a more flexible and reducing bureaucracy, we can make a real difference to victims and provide a real deterrent to perpetrators.”
The plans include:
- Community Triggers - where local agencies will be compelled to take action if several people in the same neighbourhood have complained and no action had been taken; or the behaviour in question has been reported to the authorities by an individual three times, and no action had been taken;
- Criminal Behaviour Orders - issued by the courts after conviction, the order would ban an individual from certain activities or places and require them to address their behaviour, for example attending drug treatment programmes. A breach would see an individual face a maximum five year prison term;
- Crime Prevention Injunctions - designed to nip bad behaviour in the bud before it escalates. The injunction would carry a civil burden of proof, making it quicker and easier to obtain than previous tools. For adults, breach of the injunction could see you imprisoned or fined. For under-18s a breach could be dealt with through curfews, supervision or detention.
- Community Protection Orders - comprising one order for local authorities to stop persistent environmental ASB like graffiti, neighbour noise or dog fouling; and another for police and local authorities to deal with more serious disorder and criminality in a specific place such as closing a property used for drug dealing; and
- Police ‘Direction’ powers - a power to direct any individual causing or likely to cause crime or disorder away from a particular place and to confiscate related items.
The consultation document can be found at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/consultations/cons-2010-antisocial-behaviour/