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NEW POWERS TO BEAT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

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New measures to help police and courts clamp down on anti-social...
New measures to help police and courts clamp down on anti-social

behaviour and nuisance crime come into force today, Home Office

minister John Denham said.

Changes to anti-social behaviour orders implemented under the Police

Reform Act will ensure swifter justice, with courts imposing them

more quickly and being able to attach conditions preventing offenders

behaving in an anti-social manner in wider areas.

Landlords and British Transport Police will also be able to apply for

anti-social behaviour orders more quickly to protect members of the

public from loutish, intimidating behaviour and low-level offending.

Mr Denham also announced the introduction of detention powers for

community support officers in six pilot areas to allow them to

support police in tackling anti-social behaviour and crime.

The pilot forces are Metropolitan police, West Yorkshire, Lancashire,

Devon and Cornwall, Northamptonshire and Gwent.

Mr Denham said:

'Anti-social behaviour impacts adversely on the lives of many people.

It can cause misery and distress and undermine people's confidence

and quality of life. We intend to redress the balance to ensure that

people of all ages are aware of their responsibilities.

'Tackling anti-social behaviour is a key government priority. As well

as legislating, we are putting in place structures to reduce

anti-social behaviour at a local level. Anti-social behaviour

corrodes people's pride and confidence in their communities and makes

them fearful in their own homes and communities.

'Community support officers will act as the eyes and ears of the

community in tackling public disorder and anti-social behaviour to

increase visible policing in our communities and provide public

reassurance. Introducing powers of detention is vital if community

support officers are to be properly equipped to do their job.'

Other measures coming into force today are:

- Interim sex offender orders restricting an offender's behaviour

while courts consider sex offender order applications and measures

to make it easier for police to apply for sex offender orders in a

wider range of cases

- Power to require the name and address from a person acting in an

anti-social manner

- Accreditation schemes for accredited community safety officers and

powers exercisable by them

- Powers exercisable by police civilians and traffic wardens

Today's measures were announced as education minister Ivan Lewis

unveiled a poster campaign and a new round of national truancy sweeps

to stop children missing out on vital stages of education (see LGCnet).

Notes

1. The Police Reform Act received Royal Assent in July and is

available at www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk. Details of the wider police

reform programme are available at www.policereform.gov.uk

2. Anti-social behaviour orders were introduced in England and Wales

by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and have been available since

April 1999. The orders protect the community by prohibiting offenders

from certain anti-social acts or entering a specified area.

3. A white paper on tackling anti-social behaviour will be published

in the New Year. The government will also publish a strategy to

combat anti-social behaviour and a green paper on dealing with

problems associated with children at risk.

4. The home secretary announced 1,000 community support officers

nationally in a first tranche of recruitment in September 2002

(press notice 258/2002).

5. Today's measures give traffic wardens new functions to stop

vehicles to check their roadworthiness and powers to facilitate the

movement of abnormal loads.

6. Powers exercised by community support officers and accredited

community safety officers:

Power CSO ACSO

Issue of Fixed Penalty Notices for public nuisance

under Chapter 1 Part 1 of the Criminal Justice and

Police Act 2001 YES NO

Issue of fixed penalty notices for dog fouling, littering

and riding on footpaths YES YES

Power to request a name and address for fixed

penalty offences and offences that cause injury alarm

and distress to another person or damage or loss of

another's property YES YES

Power to request the name and address of a person

acting in an anti-social manner YES YES

Power to detain a person for up to 30 minutes

pending the arrival of a constable (or to accompany

that person to a police station with the person's

agreement) YES NO

Power to use reasonable force to detain a person or

prevent him from making off YES NO

Power to request a person to stop drinking in a

designated public area and to surrender open

containers of alcohol YES YES

Power to confiscate alcohol from young persons YES YES

Power to confiscate cigarettes and tobacco products

from young people YES YES

Power of entry to save life or limb, or to prevent

serious damage to property YES NO

Power to seize vehicles used to cause alarm and

distress YES NO

Power to require the removal of abandoned vehicles YES YES

Power to stop vehicles for the purpose of a road

check YES NO

Power to maintain and enforce a cordoned area

established under terrorism act YES NO

Power to stop and search vehicles and things carried

by driver/passengers under terrorism act and things

carried by pedestrians YES NO

only with

constable

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