Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the publication of the Government’s plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour (ASB). It is clear that this is an important step in restoring pride in our local communities and will encourage people to spend more time in local areas. The Government has also hired record numbers of police officers, funded bespoke police programmes to tackle ASB, and empowered local authorities to tackle fly-tipping - but more needs to be done.
The Government’s three-step plan will crack down on offenders with swift and visible justice and tougher punishments, strengthen the response to ASB with a zero-tolerance approach, and give communities the tools they need to regenerate and restore local pride. If people feel safe in their local areas, businesses will succeed and communities will flourish.
The plans include specific aspects such as increasing on-the-spot fines for ASB, rolling out a stronger police response in ASB hotspots, launching a new digital tool to report ASB, and cracking down on illegal drugs. The final aspect is one which Robin has backed consistently, having highlighted the ASB problem that nitrous oxide has contributed to in Worcester, as well as the health risks linked to continued usage.
In a Westminster Hall debate on ASB concerns linked to the use of nitrous oxide, Robin described the concerns that constituents in Worcester have raised with him. This included the vandalism on graves in Astwood Cemetery, where nitrous oxide cannisters have been found littered on the ground. The important role played by local radio in shining a light on this issue was also praised by Robin.
The Government’s plan is backed by up to £160 million to tackle ASB, and this will ensure that perpetrators face immediate justice, fund one million more hours of youth provision and more early intervention for at risk young people, and deliver a new ASB reporting tool.