ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR (ASB) ACTION PLAN

Today, (27th March 2023), saw the Government launch their much anticipated “ASB Action Plan”,  setting the commitments they are making to tackle ASB.  

There is still a great deal of detail missing, but it gives some suggestion about priorities and focus. The below is designed to provide a summary of the commitments only. Further detail is available in the Action Plan

The plan concludes by stating that an ASB task force will be created to oversee and deliver these commitments.  

Immediate Justice  

  • Using out of court disposals to ensure that offenders put right any damage caused within 48  hours of their offence  
  • If the damage has already been completed by this time, to get the offender to do something  else that positively impacts the community  
  • Community Payback is already something that can be ordered as part of a court disposal.  The hours to be increased and the sanction to be actioned quicker. Communities to be consulted with on what the hours should be used for and also to allow them to nominate projects to be undertaken as part of this work.  

Drugs  

  • To ban nitrous oxide (making it a Class C drug) 
  • Expand testing upon arrest  
  • Introduce ‘on the spot’ street testing  

Private Sector Housing  

  • Introduce a new ombudsman service to provide support to the private rented sector (“PRS”) • Reduce the notice period for ASB matters to 2 weeks  
  • Raise awareness of the ASB toolkit with landlords 
  • Expand the discretionary ground for ASB and ensure awareness of the “capable of causing”  element  
  • Ensure ASB cases are prioritised in court listings 
  • Provide Judges guidance on the weight that should be given to the harm caused to victims  and the earlier interventions offered to the perpetrator 
  • Establish a registration scheme to allow agencies to identify short-term lets

Social Housing 

  • Expand the closure powers to registered providers  
  • Update guidance on allocations, to deprioritise ASB perpetrators  
  • Introduce a “three strike” rule for evictions, where 3 proven incidents of ASB leads to  possession  

ASB Tools and Powers 

  • Expand dispersal orders to local authorities  
  • Expand public spaces protection orders (“PSPO”) to Police and increase their speed of use • Apply a power of arrest to all breaches of injunction  
  • Lower the minimum age for the community protection notice (“CPN”) 
  • Increase fines for breach of CPN and PSPOs 
  • Expand the powers given to those delegated under the Community Safety Accreditation  Scheme to include more ASB tools 
  • Expand the use of Transport Support Officers  
  • The College of Policing to develop best practice for policing 
  • Increased fines for fly-tipping  
  • Increase use and amount of on the spot fines in hot spot areas 
  • Create a new criminal offence for cuckooing  

Homelessness 

  • Expand use and availability of positive pathways  
  • Prohibit organised begging 
  • Prohibit begging that is causing a nuisance  
  • Introduce new powers to address rough sleeping  

High Streets and Green Spaces  

  • High Street Rent Auctions – allowing local authorities to sell off their rental rights to private  businesses  
  • High Street Accelerators – empowering and incentivising local people to work together to  reinvent High Streets  
  • More street lighting, CCTV and a focus on building/designing out crime  • Reform commercial leasing laws  
  • Reduce the relevant period for Empty Dwelling Management Orders to 6 months, where  property is attracting/causing ASB 
  • Invest in green spaces  

Early Intervention  

  • Create 300 new facilities for young people  
  • Expand the Turnaround programme, offering the programme to those on the cusp on  criminality and being able to intervene earlier

Support and Data  

  • Create an ASB Hub on Gov.uk  
  • Create a one stop shop digital reporting tool for residents to report ASB and get updates and  guidance  
  • Relaunch the community trigger as the ASB Case Review  
  • Look at what ASB data should be reported on as a mandatory requirement  • Increase the sample size of the Crime Survey
  • Provide additional guidance on information sharing in ASB matter

Janine Green
Janine Green ASB
27th March 2023

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