News story

Cracking down on anti-social behaviour

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Welsh Office Minister David Jones has welcomed measures unveiled by the Home Office to protect communities from the serious harm caused by criminal…

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.

Notes

The consultation document can be found at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/consultations/cons-2010-antisocial-behaviour/