Anti-social behaviour: Police 'will be forced to act'

 

Theresa May: "I still hear horror stories of victims reporting the same problem over and over again"

Related Stories

Police will be forced to deal with anti-social behaviour if five households in one area complain about another resident, the government says.

Home Secretary Theresa May said a "community trigger" would prevent "horror stories of victims reporting the same problem over and over again".

But Labour dismissed the proposals, which will apply to England and Wales, as "belated and weak".

In a speech, Mrs May also promised police pay would reflect skill levels.

The announcement on anti-social behaviour follows an outcry over a mother who killed herself and her disabled daughter following repeated harassment by youngsters.

Fiona Pilkington had complained to police at least 33 times about the treatment she and 18-year-old Francecca Hardwick had received, including having their house pelted with stones and eggs.

The Independent Police Complaints Authority found that officers had failed to take "robust action".

'Helplessness'

The government is promising to set up five pilot schemes this summer, which will force the authorities to act if people in five separate households complain about a neighbour causing problems, such as noise or threatening behaviour.

In a speech in central London, Mrs May said: "Many police forces, councils and housing providers are working hard, but I still hear horror stories of victims reporting the same problem over and over again, and getting no response.

Start Quote

This suggests that anti-social behaviour should not be taken seriously if only two or three people complain”

End Quote Gloria DePiero Labour

"These long-running problems - and the sense of helplessness that goes with them - can destroy a victim's quality of life and shatter a community's trust in the police.

"That's why we proposed a 'community trigger' as part of our reforms to anti-social behaviour laws."

Mrs May pointed out that the government was already working with a number of local authorities to test the "community trigger" in practice, ahead of the launch of the summer pilot schemes.

But Shadow Home Office minister Gloria DePiero criticised the plans.

"This is a belated and weak announcement from the home secretary which shows how out of touch she is with the anti-social behaviour problems many communities face," she said.

"After two years of doing nothing to tackle anti-social behaviour, the home secretary has to do better than a few pilots that won't start until the summer, and which seem to suggest that anti-social behaviour should not be taken seriously if only two or three people complain."

Mrs May also announced long-awaited changes to the pay and allowances of 130,000 police officers, saying it would "remain a well-paid job".

The deal would save about £150m a year but there would be no reduction in basic pay. But any extra payments would be focused on specialist staff and front-line officers, Mrs May said.

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 7.

    So, under the proposal Fiona Pilkington could have complained 33 times but without the support of at least 4 others the outcome would be the same. Don't we just want the police to do their job and thoroughly investigate a series of persistent complaints.

  • rate this
    +33

    Comment number 6.

    Have we really got to the stage in this country where legislation needs to be brought in to make the police 'forced to act'? Surely being 'forced to act' is the last thing you want from the police? 'Happy to investigate', 'there when needed' and 'enthusiastic to understand your problem' might be slightly better attitudes.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 5.

    This is useless, what would be more effective is if police acted on 5 complaints from ANY household within a 3 month period. If complaints were found to be of substance then they should act upon them. However, if they were found to be of no substance then complaints should be regarded after ten false allegations had been made. We need to work out where the most difficult households are first.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 4.

    I do suffer from a nuisance neighbour, unfortunately he is the freeholder of my leasehold home so all of the harrassment that we suffer is legal and written into our lease. He has the legal right to enter my home with written notice and there's nothing I can do about it, even though I pay the mortgage, something he abuses whilst knowing he is completely within the law.

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 3.

    "Home Secretary Theresa May said a "community trigger" would prevent "horror stories of victims reporting the same problem over and over again"."

    ---

    Not really.

    It just opens the door for even more complaints purely based on prejudice and hate.

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 2.

    The response from the Labour party is what gives politics a bad name - no substance, purely a knee jerk reaction with no alternatives offered. And it does not address the inactivity of their 13 year reign if the problem is that important to them

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 1.

    A cynical attempt to change the subject away from bank bonuses?

 

Page 10 of 10

 

More UK stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.