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Antisocial Behaviour

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on action taken by groups of residents in response to antisocial behaviour in their locality; and if he will make a statement. (78165)

The Respect programme places the emphasis on local agencies to use the tools and powers they have been given to swiftly and effectively tackle antisocial behaviour and its causes. The implementation of neighbourhood policing teams and the increase in the number of police community support officers means that there are more resources than ever before on the streets to respond appropriately to antisocial behaviour and there will be no excuse for inaction.

The current programme of Respect academies outlines how important communications, accountability and visibility are for public services tackling antisocial behaviour. To successfully tackle antisocial behaviour we need people to work in partnership with the police and local authorities. We want to encourage people to come forward, complain and take a stand, collect evidence and play an active part in residents' and community groups. The Respect “Taking A Stand” scheme continues to recognise members of the public for their courage in tackling disrespect and antisocial behaviour in their communities.

This Government are determined to empower the public to hold their leaders to account and have their say about the issues that matter most to them. We will ensure that senior representatives of all Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships hold regular ‘face the people’ sessions to promote greater accountability and visibility in local services. And we are committed to introducing a ‘community call for action’, a power that will give local communities a formal way to request and ensure that action is taken by the police, local authorities and others in response to persistent antisocial behaviour or community safety problems, where action is not already being taken.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place in his Department to ensure that local agency reports of antisocial behaviour are standardised; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of those measures. (78528)

In 2004 the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) published “Defining and Measuring Antisocial behaviour” which contained a typology of antisocial behaviour intended to provide a practical guide to the main categories of behaviour that are widely accepted to be antisocial by both practitioners and the public. This has been used to develop a standard focus for work aimed at tackling antisocial behaviour problems locally. The introduction of the antisocial behaviour hotline “It's your call” in 49 areas since January 2005 has encouraged the public to report incidents of antisocial behaviour and has helped to further standardise local agencies' reporting of antisocial behaviour. Building on “It's your call”, the single non-emergency number, 101, is currently being rolled out by local authorities and police partnerships across England and Wales and will provide the public with easy access to community safety and antisocial behaviour services, advice and information. The recording and categorisation of incidents of antisocial behaviour reported to 101 will be standardised based on the Home Office RDS typology of antisocial behaviour as well as the Police National Standard for Incident Recording. This will facilitate the greater standardisation of reporting by local agencies as well as supporting a more effective operational approach to reducing incidents and patterns of antisocial behaviour and improving the quality of services to the public. The 101 service will be operational across England and Wales by 2008.