New anti-social behaviour powers come into force

New anti-social behaviour powers come into force

Article by Helena Hickey, Police Oracle

The number of powers to deal with anti-social behaviour has reduced from 19 to six and allows victims to have a say in the punishment of their offenders.

New powers to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) came into force this week, with some forces quick to make use of the changes.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014 has streamlined the number of powers to deal with anti-social behaviour from 19 to six, in order to allow the police and local authorities to respond effectively to ASB.

The new powers include civil injunctions, criminal behaviour orders, community protection notices, public space protection orders, closure powers and dispersal orders.

In Nottinghamshire, police in Mansfield Woodhouse have already used their new powers in an attempt to curb the anti-social behaviour of a 17-year-old-boy.

The teenager, who “has plagued the area with anti-social behaviour over the last nine months”, was sent a letter telling him that he would be issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) if his behaviour continued.

A breach of the CPN means a person can be arrested, put through the courts and fined up to £2,500.

Mansfield Woodhouse inspector Mark Webster praised his officers for their knowledge of the new powers.

“This individual has made several people’s lives a misery and it is hoped this warning will make it increasingly difficult for him to behave in such a manner,” he said.

The act also allows victims of ASB to have a say in the punishment of offenders, as part of the new ‘community remedy’.

Victims can choose from a range of options that the offender has to face, including paying compensation to the victim, reparation to the community, and educational/rehabilitation activities.

In Northumbria, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Vera Baird (pictured) said she was concerned about finding the funding to deliver these remedies.

In a letter to the Secretary of State Chris Grayling, she said: “If the government want this programme to be a success, you must ensure that there is funding to support the work of local authorities and the police.

“As you will be aware, central Government has taken nearly £70 million from the Northumbria Police budget alone and there is literally no extra funding available.”

The CSP Academy, part of Red Snapper Learning will be providing a series of briefing events and training courses around the new tools and powers. To find out more please click here.