MP welcomes action plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour and restore pride in Furness

  • Perpetrators of anti-social behaviour will face swift and visible justice as quickly as within 48 hours
  • Nitrous oxide to be banned and police given more powers to test for drugs on arrest
  • Police and local authorities given the tools they need to tackle the problem
  • Powers for councils to bring empty shops back into use and funding to regenerate local parks

Simon Fell, the MP for Barrow and Furness, has welcomed the news of tough new laws as part of a nationwide crackdown on anti-social behaviour, launched by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today (Monday 27 March).

Under the plans, perpetrators of anti-social behaviour will face swift and visible justice, increased fines and enhanced drug testing. Mr Sunak said that his Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, will make sure that this issue is treated with the urgency it deserves, establish a zero tolerance approach to all forms of anti-social behaviour, and give the police and local authorities the tools they need to tackle the problem.

Furness’ MP has been campaigning to reduce anti-social behaviour ‘once and for all’ as part of his plan for Barrow and Furness. The MP has recently surveyed residents and businesses of central Ulverston following on from numerous complaints of damage being caused to properties at evenings and weekends, and in Dalton following calls for more action to prevent anti-social behaviour around the leisure centre park off Chapel Street.

Commmenting Simon said:

“As part of our plan for Furness we are working together to tackle anti-social behaviour once and for all.

“With that in mind I welcome this announcement from the Prime Minister today.

“Local people are fed up with seeing tagging of boarded up shops along Portland Walk, smashed shop fronts in Ulverston, and concerns about anti-social behaviour in Dalton.

“We have secured extra police presence in these areas, and funding through the ‘Safer Streets’ fund to provide councils and the police with some of the tools they need to tackle this scourge on society. But there’s more to be done and this announcement today will go further towards helping us to achieve our goal of tackling anti-social behaviour once and for all.”

Under the plan, 16 areas in England and Wales will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols in areas with the highest rates of anti-social behaviour, or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme to deliver swift and visible punishments. A select few areas will trial both interventions, and following these initial trailblazers, both schemes will be rolled out across England and Wales from 2024.

Areas across England and Wales will see an increase in police presence alongside other uniformed authority figures, such as wardens, in problem areas for anti-social behaviour, including public transport and high streets or parks.

The Home Office say that the increased presence will help deter anti-social behaviour, step up enforcement action against offenders, make sure crimes are punished more quickly and drive deterrence efforts, helping to stop anti-social behaviour spiralling into more serious criminality.

Under the new Immediate Justice scheme, those found committing anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage they inflicted on victims and communities, with an ambition for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence so victims know antisocial behaviour is treated seriously and with urgency.

Commenting, Simon said:

“Anti-social behaviour is unnecesary and Furness residents are sick of it. By forcing offenders to repay and repair the damages they have caused in such a swift way, with even more police on the streets and council officers given the powers they need to act, we are sending a message that we will not tolerate this anymore.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“Anti-social behaviour undermines the basic right of people to feel safe in the place they call home.

“The public have rightly had enough – which is why I am determined to restore people’s confidence that those responsible will be quickly and visibly punished.

“This action plan maps out how we will tackle this issue with the urgency it deserves and stamp out these crimes once and for all – so that wherever you live, you can feel safe in, and proud of your community.”

Under the zero-tolerance approach, Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” will also be banned to send a clear message to intimidating gangs, that hang around high streets and children’s parks and litter them with empty canisters, that they will not get away with this behaviour. The drug is now the third most used among 16 to 24-year-olds in England and both the police and public have repeatedly reported links between use of the drug and nuisance or anti-social behaviour.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:

“The British public are fed up with crime and nuisance behaviour in their neighbourhoods inflicting misery on people.

“There is no such thing as petty crime – not only does antisocial behaviour leave people feeling unsafe, it can also be a gateway into serious criminality.

“It has always been my priority to give police the powers they need to deliver a common-sense approach to cutting crime, which puts the law-abiding majority first, and that’s what this action plan delivers.”

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove said:

“Anti-social behaviour erodes local pride, blights our high streets and parks and is a stain on too many communities across the country.

“We know that it is more likely to flourish in areas that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.

“This government was elected on a mandate to deliver change for those communities, and that is why the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan is critical.

“So we will intervene directly to prevent high street dereliction. We will deliver tougher, quicker and more visible justice to prevent thuggish behaviour in town centres and we will ensure young people have the opportunities and activities available to them to succeed – all backed by new investment.

“This is about acting on the people’s priorities, delivering safer streets so we can level up across the country.”

Anti Social Behaviour Action Plan

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