Responding to the Government's Anti-Social Behaviour Bill today, Cllr Mehboob Khan, Chair of the Local Government Association's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
"When people are inconvenienced or intimidated by nuisance behaviour in their local neighbourhoods, it is often to the council – rather than the police – that they will first turn.
"Local authorities know the most effective way of tackling anti-social behaviour is to stop it happening in the first place. This means working in partnership with health agencies, the fire service, schools, probation officers and the police to steer people away from activity which causes harassment or distress to others and can end up making people's lives a misery.
"To win the battle against anti-social behaviour and help people feel safe in their neighbourhoods we need to see more of this joint working between councils and police, not less. We know that police and crime commissioners (PCCs) consider the battle against anti-social behaviour to be top among their priorities and councils are working with them to ensure that the wealth of expertise in this area within local government is not cast aside. The proposal to make PCCs responsible for out-of-court disposals will be valuable in ensuring victims have a strong voice and see swift and effective remedies.
"We support the Government's intention to make it easier for these problems in our communities to be tackled, along with the introduction of extra powers for the police to intervene. However, it is vital that passing more responsibility to the police does not marginalise councils' crucial role in tackling the root causes of anti-social behaviour and low-level crime.
"Councils face a continual challenge to ensure the most vulnerable victims of anti-social behaviour don't slip through the net. The police now have a casework system clearly identifying the vulnerability of victims of anti-social behaviour and people who make regular complaints already have the ear of their local council. Evidence from the community trigger pilots will be important in assessing the value and reach of the community trigger proposal."
Author: LGA Media Office
Contact: Local Government Association Media team, Telephone: 020 7664 3333
Notes to editors
The Government's draft Anti-social Behaviour Bill was published today:
Draft Anti-social Behaviour Bill – Home Office website.
14 December 2012