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Antisocial Behaviour

Volume 542: debated on Monday 19 March 2012

13. What discussions she has had with police officers on the powers they need to deal with repeated antisocial behaviour in residential areas. (100229)

We have had extensive discussions with the police and other front-line professionals on our proposals for simpler and more effective powers. Many recognise the need to improve the services to victims of persistent antisocial behaviour and we will work with a number of forces and their partners to trial our proposed community trigger this year.

I thank my right hon. Friend for her answer. What are the Government doing to speed up the lengthy bureaucratic process they inherited so that local communities can combat antisocial behaviour faster and more effectively?

We consulted on replacing 18 of the existing powers with six new ones, but I am concerned about stories of victims reporting problems and not getting any action. Community trigger will give people the opportunity to ensure that action is taken by the police or other agencies, and we will work with a number of leading local areas, including Manchester and West Lindsey, to pilot the trigger this year, offering a better service to victims and communities.

The antisocial behaviour injunction is a tool used by social landlords to clamp down on nuisance tenants. Those landlords have obtained legal advice that if the Government replace that tool, the likelihood is that they will be left, to quote from the legal judgment, “literally powerless” to act, possibly for years. Will Ministers therefore keep the injunction?

I am very well aware that injunctions are often used effectively by social landlords to deal quickly with ASB. We want to build on their success in our new proposals so that they can be available to other organisations. We recognise the vital role that landlords play in tackling antisocial behaviour and are committed to strengthening their ability to deal with it.