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PREVENTION, ENFORCEMENT AND SUPPORT: 2ND READING OF ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR BILL

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Legislation to underpin the government's drive to tackle anti-social ...
Legislation to underpin the government's drive to tackle anti-social

behaviour will be set out in parliament today by the home secretary

David Blunkett.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill contains new powers to take forward

the government's agenda to tackle anti-social behaviour set out in

the recent White Paper. This calls for a culture change, a 'something

for something' society in which the rights citizens enjoy are based

on the responsibilities they have towards each other, their families

and their communities.

To do this, the Bill includes measures to:

- Widen the use of Fixed Penalty Notices - eg noise nuisance,

truancy, graffiti - and apply them to 16-17 year olds.

- Develop a package of support and sanctions to enable parents to

prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour by their children.

- Close down 'crack houses'.

- Restrict the use of air weapons and replica guns. Ban air

cartridge weapons that are easily converted to fire live ammunition.

- Make it an offence to sell spray paints to under 18s and stronger

powers for local authorities to tackle fly-tipping, graffiti and

fly-posting.

- Widen powers to shut down establishments that create noise

nuisance.

- Ensure that courts consider the impact of anti-social behaviour on

the wider community in all housing possession cases.

- Improve the operation of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs).

Mr Blunkett said:

'This legislation will give police, community support officers,

environmental health officers, local auhorities and courts the

powers they need to combat anti-social behaviour. But this

legislation is just one part of the agenda set out in the White

Paper. The drive to tackle anti- social behaviour is broad based,

involving local people, councils and other government departments in

a range of measures.

'Tackling anti-social behaviour is as much about a clear cultural

change as new powers. It is about enforcement but also about

prevention and community action that can communicate the right

signals that certain behaviour will no longer be tolerated. I want to

end the culture where playing the system and making other people's

life a misery is seen as something that goes unpunished.

'All the enforcement measures are accompanied with opportunities for

people to redeem their behaviour, to adjust and repair the damage

they have made. That is why we are proposing measures like parenting

contracts, intensive fostering and support requirements linked to

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

'The record numbers of police officers, 131,558, announced last week,

together with more than 1,200 community support officers, will play a

key role in enforcing these measures and tackling the scourge of

crime and anti-social behaviour.

'We all have to play a part in tackling anti-social behaviour. We all

need to accept that our rights as citizens come with

responsibilities. We can make a real difference in turning around

some of our most disadvantaged communities if we work together to

give people a better quality of life and turn our communities into

safe, clean places to live and work, free from harassment, fear and

intimidation.'

NOTES

1. The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill will receive its second reading at

12:30pm in the House of Commons on Tuesday 8 April.

2. The White Paper and Bill can be viewed at online here.

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