Skip to main content

Night-time Crime and Antisocial Behaviour

Volume 592: debated on Monday 9 February 2015

5. What assessment she has made of the effectiveness of community-led responses to crime and antisocial behaviour related to the night-time economy. (907492)

Front-line professionals have new flexible powers to tackle antisocial behaviour, including problems in the night-time economy. We have overhauled the Licensing Act 2003 to give people a greater say in licensing decisions in their area and to give local areas the tools and powers they need to deal with problem premises. We have also enabled local communities to secure a financial contribution from late-opening premises towards policing the night-time economy.

Will the Minister join me in praising the street pastors, volunteer first aiders, first aiders and safe space volunteers in Truro and Falmouth who, on Saturday nights, do so much to keep people safe and take pressure off our much-valued police officers and paramedics?

I am delighted to praise the work of the safe space initiative in Falmouth and others like it, which provide an extremely valuable service. These schemes are run by local volunteers and officers who help with first aid. There are also the street pastors, which we also have in Haringey. I am sure that Members across the House would praise their work. The Government have also introduced the late-night levy power for local communities to use if they choose to do so. It enables local authorities to collect a financial contribution from businesses that profit from selling alcohol, and the funds raised can be used for safe spaces.

In parts of my constituency, the night-time economy includes kerb-crawling and street prostitution. Local residents are trying to work with the police to control the situation, but it is becoming increasingly difficult, with the cuts to community support officers and front-line police officers and the local authority cuts, to work with local communities. What is the Minister doing to support them?

The hon. Lady will have heard already that crime is falling across the country and has reduced by one fifth since the coalition entered government. We have taken action. I have written to local authorities to remind them of their powers, and police and crime commissioners are there to use their commissioning powers in respect of crimes that need addressing in their local areas.