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New powers to help police tackle anti-social behaviour and give the community a louder voice come into place today (Monday 20 October).

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014 gives police and their partners simpler and more effective powers for tackling anti-social behaviour.

The government has reduced the number of powers to deal with anti-social behaviour from 19 to six simpler, more flexible powers. These new powers are civil injunctions, criminal behaviour orders, community protection notices, public space protection orders, closure powers and dispersal orders.

Civil injunctions will replace the current ASBOs, although this aspect of the bill has been delayed nationally until next year.

The new ‘community trigger’ aspect of the bill gives communities a right to require community safety partnerships − including housing providers, the local authority, the police and health groups – to collectively review their activity where there have been three or more complaints relating to the same problem in a six month period.

The trigger can be activated by a member of the public, a community or a business, including a third party who may be concerned for someone they know.

The new ‘community remedy’ aspect gives victims of low-level crime and ASB a say in the punishment of offenders out of court. This means victims can get justice quickly, and the offender has to face – sometimes immediate and meaningful consequences for their actions. Victims will be given a range of options and will choose one for the offenders to carry out as a consequence of their offending.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito said: “The Community Remedy is an opportunity for victims to have a say in how offenders of low level crime are punished. It will give victims options that they have not had before and make offenders think about the impact that their behaviour has had on the victim and allow the situation to be dealt with quickly.

“This is a new way of working and we will be monitoring implementation of both the Community Remedy and the Community Trigger to ensure that the process is working for the benefit of victims.”

Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes commented: “The new act is all about police and partners working together to help people whose lives are being adversely affected by anti-social behaviour − and giving them a direct say in what course of action should be taken against perpetrators.

“It also gives police new powers to react swiftly should any issues develop that need a rapid response, such as imposing spontaneous dispersal orders to keep troublemakers away from a specific area.”

Click on this link for the full Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014.

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