A new report, “Anti-Social Behaviour: Living a Nightmare” was released today (30/04/2019) by the Victims Commissioner, in partnership with ASB Help and Nottingham Trent University. The report has shown that Anti-Social Behaviour is being ignored by authorities in England and Wales.
The Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, stated that victims who were being repeatedly targeted were left to “suffer in silence”. She added that the feedback from victims has been that they feel they are being persistently targeted by perpetrators, yet persistently ignored by those in power also. Baroness Newlove added that it was “infuriating” that Anti-Social Behaviour was referred to as low-level crime, something that often dismisses the effect it has on its victims. The report states that anti-social behaviour can cause “immense distress and suffering” to victims, having negative effects on their mental health, sleep, work and relationships.
Police chiefs and the Local Government Association said they took anti-social behaviour “seriously”, but admit that their resources are under strain and more funding is needed if they are to tackle the problem effectively.
Written in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and charity ASB Help, the commissioner’s report says victims of anti-social behaviour are passed between agencies and face lengthy delays when calling the 101 police non-emergency number.
It also found that a mechanism known as the “community trigger”, which allows victims to require agencies to review the response to the anti-social behaviour they reported, was “largely unknown”.
Jenny Herrera, from ASB Help, said there were fundamental problems with the mechanism and called for central government to intervene to ensure it was “fit for purpose”.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated 37% of adult respondents experienced or witnessed anti-social behaviour in their local area last year, the highest proportion since the question was first asked in 2011-12.
But separate figures show around 1.4 million incidents of anti-social behaviour were recorded by police in 2018, a 16% fall on the previous 12 months.
The Home Office welcomed the Victims’ Commissioner’s report and said it would consider the recommendations “carefully”. “The government is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and ensuring victims get the response they deserve,” it said.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Anti-Social Behaviour, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, said the police were “only one part of the solution” and they were working with local authorities and other agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“Forces are under increasing strain as they deal with rising crime, demand that is more complex and a raised terror threat with fewer officers,” he continued.
“Further long-term funding is needed and we are working with the Home Office and police and crime commissioners to make the case at the next spending review.”
The Local Government Association said: “Councils know people look to them to tackle the anti-social behaviour, which can make a law-abiding resident’s life hell or blight an entire neighbourhood.
“It’s a role they take extremely seriously but one which is being made increasingly challenging as a result of losing 60p out of every £1 they had from government to spend on services in the past decade.”
Read the full report here: https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/victcomm2-prod-storage-119w3o4kq2z48/uploads/2019/04/ASB-report.pdf
Livestream feed from the launch can be seen through Twitter here: https://twitter.com/csjthinktank/status/1123268300765630465
Have you been a victim of Anti-Social Behaviour? Our website has pages of advice and links to local agencies to try and help resolve your situation. You can also contact us using the contact form for further help and advice.