THE BEATING CRIME PLAN: HOW IT RELATES TO ASB
On Tuesday 27th July 2021, the Government published the Beating Crime Plan, described as a document setting out the strategic approach to cutting crime: cutting homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime; exposing and ending hidden harms; and building capability and capacity to deal with fraud and online crime.
What is pleasing is that the document references anti-social behaviour (ASB) at several points. For a number of years, the feeling within the sector is that tackling ASB has been slipping further and further down the Government’s priority list. It is, therefore, very welcomed that the plan contains a number of promises to help drive down ASB, suggesting that focus is returning. This is no doubt due to the campaigning work that organisations like Resolve and ASB Help continue to do so well.
The document is 50 pages long, detailing high-level commitments to tackling a wide range of criminal and problematic behaviour. In this regard, the reference to ASB is limited. In addition, given it’s purpose as a strategic document, it provides little detail about how the Government intend to achieve the promises that are made.
In relation to tackling ASB, the following commitments are made:
- The principles of effective partnership working will be established. Work will then be completed with Police and Crime Commissioners (“PCCs”), local authorities and other partners to set expectations for local partnerships in terms of how they work together, how they address ASB and how they deal with persistent offenders.
- Work will be undertaken to ensure that the tools within the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“ASB Act”) are used “swiftly and properly”
- The statutory guidance that supports the ASB Act will be continually reviewed
- Work will be completed with agencies to understand challenges, improve data collection and highlight and share local best practice
- Consideration will be made to whether the local ASB task forces that some PCCs have already established should be replicated in other areas
- To make more funding available to support young people and families, intervening earlier and diverting from ASB and criminal activity
- To review the role of the PCC and make them a stronger part of local community safety arrangements and the implementation of improved community trigger processes.
Only time will tell how the Government intend to achieve the above. What will be key is ensuring that it is done in consultation with practitioners, with genuine and meaningful time and resource made available.