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'CONFRONT AND CHANGE BAD BEHAVIOUR'

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Confront and change bad behaviour is the message to hundreds of frontline workers from across the south east who ga...
Confront and change bad behaviour is the message to hundreds of frontline workers from across the south east who gathered in Brighton today for the government's first Respect Academy.

Community safety officers, police, youth and social workers and housing and regeneration specialists were urged at the special government conference, to go further in their efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour and join forces to prevent the next ASBO generation.

The event, the first in a series of five nationwide, is a key plank of the cross-government effort to drive up standards of behaviour and crack down on the disrespectful behaviour of a small minority who can make the lives of others a misery.

A government spokesperson said:

'The government will be unremitting in confronting bad behaviour and working with those on the frontline and the public, to enforce a culture of respect. We want to ensure people can live safely in the kinds of communities they have the right to expect.

'By tackling anti-social behaviour we have helped give people back a sense of safety and pride in their neighbourhoods. We have helped restore faith in public services in places where inaction on anti-social behaviour had undermined it.

'But we have to do more. We want to see the same strong, effective approach from Southend to Sunderland in dealing with those that make life hell for those around them.'

The Respect drive is based on an unambiguous belief that everyone - young and old, rich and poor - should be expected to uphold certain basic standards of behaviour towards others.

On the same day as the Academy, at a visit to the Whitehawk Estate Crime Prevention Forum in East Brighton the government's co-ordinator for Respect, Louise Casey, heard how local people have worked together stop young people using BB Guns, and clear up abandoned cars, vandalism and graffiti.

Local resident and forum member, Maggie Smeeth, a recent winner of a Respect Award for Taking a Stand said: 'People in this community were being intimidated and frightened by a group of young people. But we were determined that an anti-social minority should not be able to spoil things for everyone else. By working together we have made real changes and our approach shows what other communities can do. We are now confident that by working with local services to tackle anti-social behaviour real, practical change is possible.'

The spokesperson added: 'People like Maggie are a real inspiration. They show what can happen when local people decide to stand up for their community and take action against bad behaviour. Whitehawk Estate Crime Prevention Forum is a fantastic example of local people and services working together to make a culture of respect a reality.'

Notes

1.The Respect Action Plan was published in January 2006 and sets out a framework of powers and approaches to promote respect. The Action Plan can be accessed via the internet http:www.respect.gov.uk

2. The Respect Action Plan includes far reaching proposals including an effective approach to tackling anti-social behaviour across the country, intervene effectively in the most challenging families who cause the most problems, and supporting parents in parenting better.

3. Five Respect Academies will be held in June at the following venues;

* Friday 9th June - Brighton

* Thursday 15th June - Newcastle

* Friday 16th June - Birmingham

* Thursday 22nd June - Plymouth

* Friday 30th June - Manchester

Further Academies will be held in the Autumn.

4.At the Brighton academy practitioners will hear from the country's leading experts on parenting Professor Stephen Scott and anti-social behaviour, led by Louise Casey, the Government's Co-ordinator for Respect.

The day will include practical and interactive sessions which make up the five common themes which run throughout the Respect Action Plan, these are;

* Intensive intervention to challenge the most anti-social families

* Effective parenting support programmes

* Strengthening Communities

* Tackling anti-social tenants

* ASBOs

5.The Whitehawk Crime Prevention Forum meets regularly to identify crime hot spots and to share information. Members include three winners of Respect Awards for Taking a Stand.

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