Trials of a new approach for handling complaints of antisocial behaviour were unveiled today by crime prevention minister James Brokenshire.
Eight police force areas will change the way they respond to calls, using a new system to log complaints and improving the use of IT to share information.
Differing approaches to recording complaints of antisocial behaviour and identifying repeat victims has seen too many people slip through the cracks.
It is hoped that this new approach will help to quickly identify and protect vulnerable victims.
Better complaint handling
James Brokenshire said: ‘Antisocial behaviour ruins lives, damages our communities and, at its worst, can have tragic consequences. It is essential those who raise the alarm and ask for help are listened to and their complaints acted upon promptly.
‘It is not acceptable that those most in need either slip through the net or are plain ignored. The technology exists to allow agencies to introduce a smart way of handling such complaints and a simple way of sharing information - they need to use it.’
Five key principles
The trials in Avon and Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, South Wales, Sussex and West Mercia will run from January to July 2011.
New approaches will be tailored to each area and based on five key principles:
- creating an effective call handling system where each individual has a log of complaints created from the very first call
- introducing risk assessment tools to quickly identify the most vulnerable victims
- installing IT systems to share information on cases between agencies, removing the need for meetings
- agreeing a protocol across all local agencies setting out how they will manage cases
- engaging with the community to clearly set out the issues which are causing the most harm to individuals and neighbourhoods, and setting out how the police, other local agencies and the public can work together to address them
Baroness Newlove, champion for active safer communities, said: ‘Protecting those who are most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods is essential - after all, we all know who the troublemakers are who live down our street.
‘The frustration has been that in some cases it has appeared that nobody has been able to stop them, with tragic results.
‘These changes to the way police handle such complaints will help make our communities safer and more confident places where decent law abiding people feel they are being listened to and supported. This is the new way forward, action not words.’
At the end of the trial the Home Office will assess each area’s approach and will publish details about what worked best.