neighbours in their communities was honoured today by the Home Office at a
ceremony in the house of commons.
of local people who have taken a personal stand against the anti-social
behaviour blighting their community.
Home Office minister Hazel Blears, presenting 32 individuals and groups from
across the country with their awards, said:
'The anti-social behaviour of a minority can destroy a
community and make decent, law abiding people live in fear. Left unchecked,
this can start a downward spiral which leads to a lack of community pride
and fuels the fear of crime. It is absolutely vital we take a stand against
'Doing so takes dedication, courage and hard work -
qualities all of the winners have in abundance. The transformations achieved
in the winners' communities are remarkable.
'The winners' work included graffiti clean ups, removal of
abandoned cars, punishing local thugs, providing diversionary activities to
prevent young people falling into a life of crime and restoring
neighbourhood spirit. Each winner is a testament to selfless action for the
benefit of all.
'The government is committed to helping communities fight
anti-social behaviour. The new Anti-Social Behaviour Act gives communities,
and the local agencies that serve them, new powers to combat this blight. I
urge local residents to make sure public services use these for the benefit
of everyone. By working together we can tackle the blight of anti-social
The awards, part of the government's Together campaign to tackle anti-social
behaviour, were developed with Crime Concern, the National Neighbourhood
Watch Association and the Co-op.
Roger Howard, chief executive of Crime Concern, said:
'Crime Concern is pleased to be involved i n the first year
of the anti-social behaviour Taking A Stand awards.
'What these awards demonstrate is that any successful effort
to reduce ASB has to be based on equal measures of prevention with
appropriate enforcement when necessary.
'The best winners show either the commitment of a local
community or the influence of a leading individual.'
John Howell, director general of National Neighbourhood Watch Association,
'As one of the judges, I have seen at firsthand the
inspiring work undertaken by all of those selected as regional winners to
help build safer communities.
'It was a difficult task to select one winner and I applaud
the work of all the community safety groups across the UK.'
Martin Beaumont, chief executive of the Co-operative Group, said:
'As a retailer at the heart of hundreds of communities
across the UK, we know first-hand how destructive anti-social behaviour can
be. These awards will bring much-needed recognition and support for those
people and organisations who are working to provide practical solutions to
1. Hazel Blears launched the Taking A Stand awards on 27 June in Dean
2. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act received royal assent on 21 November.
Key provisions include:
* Expanding the fixed penalty notices scheme to cover noise nuisance,
truancy, graffiti, and apply them to 16-17 year olds.
* Enabling schools, local authorities and youth offending teams to
offer a package of support and sanctions for parents to help them address
anti-social behaviour by their children.
* Allowing swift action from the police to close 'crack houses'
causing serious nuisance to the community.
* Restricting the use of air weapons and replica guns and banning air
cartridge weapons that are easily converted to fire live ammunition.
* Improving the operation of anti-social behaviour orders.
3. Each of the 32 winner s will receive £1,000 to help them continue
their work against anti-social behaviour. One overall winner will receive