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Antisocial Behaviour

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in implementing each of the measures to improve social cohesion set out in the booklet, Anti-social Behaviour Enforcement and Support Tools: An information pack for members of Parliament, dated January 2009; and what criteria he uses to measure the effectiveness of implementation of the measures. (294252)

Since 1998 when antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) were introduced we have introduced a wide range of tools and powers to tackle antisocial behaviour. These measures are being used by practitioners to bring relief to communities across the country. Local agencies decide on the most appropriate intervention to use in each case. The overall aim is to tackle antisocial behaviour at the earliest opportunity with the most appropriate tool.

Three independent reports including the Home Affairs Select Committee report (2005), the Audit Commission report (May 2006) and the NAO report (December 2006) have confirmed our approach to tackling antisocial behaviour is working. The NAO report found that 65 per cent. of people desisted from ASB after one intervention and nine out of 10 had desisted after three interventions.

The Home Office has commissioned research into the comparative effectiveness of all the antisocial behaviour tools and powers which is due for publication next year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many neighbourhood policing action squads have been established to tackle anti-social behaviour; (294423)

(2) what steps his Department has taken to meet the Government's new objectives for neighbourhood policing teams in relation to anti-social behaviour.

Neighbourhood policing is central to providing a police service that is responsive to local crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB) concerns. Since 2002 we have invested over £1 billion to ensure that there is now a neighbourhood policing team in every neighbourhood, including over 13,500 officers and 16,000 PCSOs, with a range of tools and powers to deal with ASB. These teams engage with their local communities to understand their concerns—which will usually include ASB—and work with partners to address them. Between March 2008 and March 2009 public confidence that police and local agencies are dealing with local crime and ASB matters has increased from 45 per cent. to 49 per cent.

In December 2008, we introduced the policing pledge, which outlines commitments that the police service have made to the public, including minimum response times, holding monthly meetings to understand local concerns, providing monthly updates on action taken to deal with those concerns and visiting victims of crime. I welcome the recent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) of the delivery of the pledge, in each police force ensuring that the public know how well their force is doing. Police authorities and forces are now working to respond to the challenge this has set them.

The Government are clear that there is more to be done. On 13 October I announced a package of measures to improve the collective response to ASB. This includes extra support for victims of antisocial behaviour and a crackdown on those that breach ASBOs and new local minimum service standards agreed with the public that outline what they should expect from councils, police and social landlords to deal with intimidation.

In 62 priority CDRPs, support and advice will be provided from a Home Office regional delivery manager, supported by the ASB action squad of expert practitioners, to make sure that the police, councils and housing are working together effectively to tackle ASB. All 62 partnerships have had face to face meetings, five partnerships have already been visited to begin the assessment process and the remaining 57 are due to be visited in the next six weeks.

The forthcoming Policing White Paper will set out the next steps on neighbourhood policing.