Norwich MP backs new government plans to get tough on anti-social behaviour
A Norwich MP has called on communities to see it as their 'duty' to potentially deal with anti-social behaviour on their doorsteps, as part of the government's Big Society agenda.
Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, has been in talks with Norwich police and Broadland District Council, as part of a consultation on proposals setting out a new streamlined approach to anti-social behaviour.
The government plans would introduce a more effective response to anti-social behaviour, so that the police and partners have faster, more flexible tools to stop it earlier, and better protect victims and communities.
Miss Smith said anti-social behaviour was one of the single most common local issues that people raised with her as an MP, as well as to police and the council.
She said 'I wanted to get the opinions of local police inspectors and local councils as part of the consultation.
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'We discussed how valuable it was to potentially consolidate some of the powers that the police and local community can use.
'We are extremely keen to see powers to intervene at the earliest stage and I want to see us get the right powers in place for the authorities but also communities to sort such problems out simply, fairly and quickly.
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'There are obviously some situations where agencies need to work together to solve the problem or where it's obvious that the community can solve the problem itself.
'Members of the community should see it as a duty to resolve matters of anti-social behaviour.'
She praised new government plans for crime prevention injunctions (CPIs) designed to nip bad behaviour in the bud before it escalates, which would carry a civil burden of proof, making it quicker and easier to obtain than previous tools.
She added: 'With the right protection that could really work to help communities solve problems, as sometimes it can be hard to get extra criminal evidence together and people are afraid to come forward.'
She is drafting a letter in response to the consultation which she will to submit to government before mid-May.
Do you suffer from anti-social behaviour where you live? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To take part in the consultation visit www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/consultations/cons-2010-antisocial-behaviour.