Home Secretary Theresa May unveils plans to give communities tougher protection from anti-social behaviour and reveals the hugely successful crime maps website is being extended.
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The plans are designed to curb instances of victims being ignored by authorities despite making repeated complaints about problem neighbours.
They will mean action must be taken to tackle nuisance behaviour if five people in different homes across the same neighbourhood complain.
Community Safety Partnerships, made up of police and councils, will be able to reject any complaints they believe are malicious.
Theresa May said: "It's too easy to overlook the harm that persistent anti-social behaviour causes. Many police forces, councils and housing providers are working hard, but I still hear horror stories of victims reporting the same problem over and over again, and getting no response.
"These long-running problems - and the sense of helplessness that goes with them - can destroy a victim's quality of life and shatter a community's trust in the police.
"That's why we proposed a 'community trigger' as part of our reforms to anti-social behaviour laws. The trigger will give victims and communities the right to demand that agencies who had ignored a problem must take action.
"So we are now working with a number of local authorities to test the 'community trigger' on the ground, and pilots will begin by the summer."
But the plans drew a terse reaction from Shadow Home Office minister Gloria DePiero, who said: "This is a belated and weak announcement from the Home Secretary which shows how out of touch she is with the anti-social behaviour problems many communities face.
"After two years of doing nothing to tackle anti-social behaviour, the Home Secretary has to do better than a few pilots that won't start until the summer, and which seem to suggest that anti-social behaviour should not be taken seriously if only two or three people complain.
"Most right-minded people will also wonder why it should take five different people complaining to get a response from agencies that are there to protect the public and deal with the minority who can make life unbearable.
"Even if only one person complains, their concerns should be investigated and treated seriously.
"The Home Secretary has no serious plan to help cut crime or anti-social behaviour. She is only cutting police officers instead."
Crime maps for public places
The public will be able to see details of crimes which happen near hotspots such as nightclubs, parks and shopping areas from Tuesday, the Home Secretary also announced.
Theresa May said the crime-mapping website will be extended to show crimes which happen "near a range of public places". It comes after the police.uk received more hits than any other government website last year.
The move is the latest stage of the project which will, by May, see details of what happened to offenders, including whether anyone was arrested, charged or sent to prison, added to the maps by May.
Mrs May said the Government was "giving the public more information than ever before about crime and policing in their area through street-level crime maps".
23 September 2010