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COUNTY COURTS PILOTS ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR SCHEME

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Eleven county courts are taking part in a yearlong pilot scheme to improve the flow of information between agencies...
Eleven county courts are taking part in a yearlong pilot scheme to improve the flow of information between agencies involved in anti social behaviour cases.

The pilot, launched by constitutional affairs minister Harriet Harman, will make sure that the civil courts get the information they need to ensure the smooth progress of anti social behaviour cases.

The pilot will run in Lambeth, Central London, Bow, Nottingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford and Hull.

The county court scheme is part of the Respect Action Plan announced in January 2006 which sets out how the government intends to tackle the causes of anti social behaviour.

A new anti-social behaviour co-ordinator will act as the main point of contact between the parties and the court and identify where and how communication can be strengthened, or where more training or information needs to be given.

The co-ordinator will also monitor changes in legislation and new measures that could affect anti social behaviour cases, and ensure that all relevant organisations or agencies are aware of the new changes.

Ms Harman said:

'Anti social behaviour can bring misery to a whole community and deny people the chance to enjoy their every day lives. Nuisance neighbours, crack houses, graffiti and intimidation all bring misery to people having to suffer it.

'It is very important that the authorities deal decisively with anti-social behaviour so that people can get on with their daily lives peacefully.

'County courts are increasingly dealing with anti social behaviour cases. Anti social behaviour co-ordinators will ensure that the courts run smoothly and they anti-social behaviour laws are used effectively.'

Louise Casey, the government co-ordinator for Respect said:

'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 so that we can all live safely in the kind of communities we have a right to expect.

'These pilots will allow us to build stronger and more effective working relationships between the civil courts and practitioners to ensure that where individuals take action, victims, witnesses and the local community get the best results possible.'

Notes

1.The one-year pilot will run in 11 county courts. These are Lambeth, Central London, Bow, Nottingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford and Hull.

2.A full evaluation of the pilot will be in October 2007.

3.More details of the Respect Action Plan can be found at www.respect.gov.uk

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