Labour will crack down on antisocial behaviour blighting our communities
3 min read
Firefighters attended what they thought was a car fire on a Saturday evening in West Denton, Newcastle.
The firefighters arrived and found a car set alight with a group of masked teenagers waiting for them. Petrol bombs and glass bottles were thrown at the firefighters and police who were called to help.
Nearby a horror home in Cleveland – a den for crack deals with Rambo knives and antisocial behaviour – people’s lives in the community have been made a misery. Assaults and noisy arguments outside meant residents were terrified.
Under the Conservatives action against antisocial behaviour has collapsed
People all over the country will know exactly what that feels like. They know the changes to their neighbourhoods when community respect is worn down. They know what broken Britain feels like.
Parents worry about their children playing in the park or being targeted online. Pensioners worry about scams. Small businesses worry they will be targeted by thieves or vandals. Knife crime plagues communities, women feel less safe on the streets and antisocial behaviour ruins lives without consequence.
Criminal damage to shops, schools, leisure centres and businesses has increased by more than 30 per cent over the past year. Anti-social arson went up 25 per cent last year. Knife possession is up 15 per cent on pre-pandemic levels. Over six million Brits are witnessing drug dealings or drug use.
Under the Conservatives action against antisocial behaviour has collapsed. Neighbourhood policing has been slashed, charge rates are plummeting, and victims are dropping out of the process in record numbers. Support services for kids have been decimated. The police spend hours if not days dealing with mental health cases because there is simply no one else to pick up the pieces.
When polled, the public say there is no point investing in improving the community if it is just going to be vandalised by criminals. You can’t level up without tackling crime.
Labour’s new action plan will crack down on the antisocial behaviour that is blighting communities. Respect orders will create a new criminal offence for adults who have repeatedly committed antisocial behaviour and are ignoring warnings by the courts and the police.
Labour will introduce new town centre police patrols and a mandatory antisocial behaviour police lead for every local neighbourhood as part of Labour’s neighbourhood police guarantee, with 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs.
We will strengthen powers for police to shut down crack houses, introduce a national register of private landlords, and a duty for local partners to tackle antisocial behaviour with mandatory antisocial behaviour officers in every local authority area.
The next Labour government will not let another generation of lost boys and lost girls grow up without hope. That’s why Labour will introduce a full prevention and diversion programme, with new youth mentors for children and young people most vulnerable to crime and access to mental health professionals in every school.
Where the Conservatives have dismantled neighbourhood policing, Labour will bring it back.
Where the Conservatives have weakened anti-social behaviour powers, Labour has a tough new plan to tackle it. Where the Conservatives forgot about our young people, Labour will prioritise them. Where the Home Office pushes blame to local forces and never takes the lead, Labour will be an active government legislating for mandatory police standards.
People are tired of feeling like their problems will be ignored, that our values of community and respect are being ground down by a government taking the backseat on law and order.
The next Labour government will bring back security and respect to our communities. We will work hard to restore public faith in policing. Labour will revive the reassurance that if you are a victim of a crime, something will be done.
Sarah Jones, Labour MP for Croydon Central.
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