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Community to pull trigger on anti social behaviour

New powers aimed at tackling anti social behaviour come into effect today (Monday 20 October, 2014).

The "Community Trigger" is a key part of the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014 that will see police, councils and housing groups work closely together to combat persistent problems.

Victims will be able to use the Community Trigger when they are not satisfied with how their previous reports of anti social behaviour have been dealt with.

Relevant bodies, including councils, the police and registered social landlords will have a duty to undertake a case review when someone requests one and the case meets a locally defined threshold.

The precise Community Trigger thresholds for Wolverhampton are expected to be confirmed by Cabinet next month, but are likely to include instances in which individuals have reported multiple cases of anti social behaviour or incidents motivated by hate, and are not satisfied with how the matter has been dealt with.

The trigger can be activated by a member of the public, a community or a business, including a third party concerned for someone else.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "Though crime rates are thankfully continuing to fall in Wolverhampton, the fear that is created in our communities by anti social behaviour remains a concern and it's important that agencies do all they can to tackle the problem.

"The Community Trigger will reassure residents who feel they are subject to persistent acts of anti social behaviour that their concerns are being taken seriously."

The Anti Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014 also introduces a new Community Remedy that allows victims of anti social behaviour to select an out of court sanction they would want to see offenders handed, along with new powers like civil injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders to deal with stubborn offenders or ones who refuse to accept a Community Remedy.

In addition, police powers to remove troublemakers from an area have been simplified as dispersal orders will be able to be applied for instantly without the need to designate a dispersal zone in advance.

West Midlands Police's Anti Social Behaviour Lead, Superintendent Angie Whitaker, said: "The new law is all about police and partners working together to help people whose lives are being adversely affected by anti social behaviour - and give them a direct say in what course of action should be taken against perpetrators.

"It also gives police new powers to react swiftly should any issues develop that need a rapid response, such as imposing spontaneous dispersal orders to keep troublemakers away from a specified area."

To report anti social behaviour, please email Wolverhampton's Anti Social Behaviour Unit, city.direct@wolverhampton.gov.uk or call 01902 551188.

  • released: Monday 20 October, 2014