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POLICE WELCOME ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR ACTION PLAN

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The Metropolitan Police Authority has welcomed the home secretary's new initiative* to rid the streets of anti-soci...
The Metropolitan Police Authority has welcomed the home secretary's new initiative* to rid the streets of anti-social behaviour, following the publication of an action plan that targets nuisance neighbours, aggressive begging, drunkenness and violence.

MPA chair Toby Harris said:

'This is another positive step in our combined efforts to reduce quality of life crimes on our streets and in our neighbourhoods, and sends a clear message to those people who make life a misery for others that we will no longer tolerate their inexcusable behaviour.

'The home secretary's announcement builds on the anti-social behaviour Bill currently before parliament which will strengthen and underpin the work of the many partner agencies, including police and local authorities, in bringing about safer communities and an increase in community confidence.

'We now need stronger police powers to tackle persistent and serious anti-social behaviour effectively, working in partnership with others as envisaged under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, to bring about long-term solutions.

'The Metropolitan Police and the Metropolitan Police Authority have made enormous efforts over the past three years to use Anti-Social Behaviour Orders to stop and prevent nuisance crimes.

'Camden was the first place in the country to successfully apply for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders covering aggressive begging and drug taking. Work is coordinated through an anti-social behaviour action team, which tackles everything from racial harassment to domestic violence.

'In Brent, partnership between police and the local authority has resulted in one of the first group anti-social behaviour orders covering seven young men who between them committed more than 100 offences. They are banned from specific zones within the borough and they were also banned from acting anti-socially anywhere in England and Wales. This is proof that effective action can be taken.

'But we have also been concerned about find ing positive ways of diverting young people away from crime. Initiatives in London include the use of Acceptable Behaviour Agreements, aimed at ten to 17 year olds. These are voluntary agreements that take a restorative and preventative approach with consequences if breached. There are also Parental Guidance Agreements for under tens, where the parents have complete responsibility for the actions of their children.

'Other projects being applied successfully include youth inclusion and intervention panels, which identify young people at risk and involved in anti-social behaviour, referring them to the appropriate support agencies. There are also a range of other services for children, families and the wider communities, all of which need to be expanded and properly funded if we are to make a real difference that is sustainable. This announcement should help to make this a reality.'

* Details of the measures to tackle anti-social behaviour here.

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