Every police force to get £1 million cash to tackle yobs ‘ruining lives’ with antisocial behaviour

15 February 2024, 08:51 | Updated: 15 February 2024, 09:03

Police are to get more cash to tackle anti-social behaviour
Police are to get more cash to tackle anti-social behaviour. Picture: Alamy
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Every police force in England and Wales will get at least £1 million extra cash to ramp up ASBO patrols, ministers have revealed.

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After trialling extra bobbies on the beat and targeted interventions in ten hotspots across the country, local trials have shown a decline in antisocial behaviour, the Home Office says.

A new pot of £66 million will be rolled out to help each force deploy more uniformed patrols for up to 20,000 extra hours every year where drug-fuelled violence in running rampant.

Ministers have vowed to close 3,000 county lines drugs operations by this summer.

Areas like Brunswick in Lancashire saw a reported 40% drop in antisocial behaviour after trialling the methods.

Caller Joanne tells of her experience being driven from her home by anti-social behaviour

Ministers have also banned laughing gas to end the scourge of canisters being left in parks and cities, and upped fines for fly-tipping.

Home Office Minister Laura Farris told LBC she’d seen parts of her own area causing hell for locals.

She said: "There are pockets of it and it gets raised with me.

"We spend more time talking about serious crime but if you ask any MP what their casework look like, antisocial behaviour is one of most prevalent things to be raised with me.

"And it really ruins people's lives – a timely police response matters.

A Community Support Officer, a Police Officer and a teenager discuss anti-social behaviour on a housing estate, London, UK.
A Community Support Officer, a Police Officer and a teenager discuss anti-social behaviour on a housing estate, London, UK. Picture: Alamy

"We hope to make people feel much safer and secure in their communities.

"We want them to feel that dodgy corner of the park has been dealt with and they can walk through it and that really, really matters not just for your sense of safety actually, but for the way that you feel about the place that you live, your neighbourhood, your community."

Ministers promised to get 20,000 more police officers on the streets – but in most areas the numbers have still dropped overall since 2010.

And the latest crime figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, out last month, showed levels were down overall.

But pockets of offences like fraud and shoplifting have soared.

Robberies, knife crimes and motor offences were all up too.

Ms Farris admitted: "Yes, we have seen an increase in assault social workers and in shoplifting, that is an area that we're particularly focused on at the moment. We are clear the police must respond to every single incident.

Police officer helps James O'Brien realise motivations for PM's anti-social behaviour plans

"And we've treated an assault on a shop worker as an aggravating factor, a statutory aggravating factor for sentencing purposes – we recognise that is a problem."

Ms Farris also told LBC that she was confident in the justice system after speaking out about her own harassment hell.

In 2021 a local man was given a suspended sentence for waging a campaign of terror against the MP and minister.

She told LBC: "It was the kind of crime that unfortunately women MPs see quite a lot of. But I will say this, I went through the criminal justice process and I got a just outcome.

"This is my brief - I'm absolutely committed to seeing women get justice."

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