Labour & Co-operative candidate for Redcar, Anna Turley, has slammed the Coalition Government for their weak approach to dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour.
Instead of protecting victims, Home Secretary Theresa May plans to water down ASBOs so that someone who keeps ignoring police warnings, court orders and injunctions to stop terrorising the local area will no longer be guilty of a crime.
This comes after the figures showed a rise in the number of ASBOs issued in Cleveland by 23% between 2010 and 2011. They are clearly still a much- needed tool.
The Lib Dems and Tories plan to introduce the Community Trigger, which gives people the right to demand that police deal with anti-social behaviour if an incident is reported by at least five people or any three complaints by the same person.
But victims who complain three times will only have the right to a review, and this is just the minimum requirement with the authorities able to wait much longer before taking further action if they choose to. The statistics from the Government’s own pilot scheme in Manchester, Brighton and Richmond show that of 44,011 antisocial behaviour incidents, the Trigger was only successfully activated 13 times.
They are also making it harder to use CCTV cameras by introducing more red tape at a cost of £14 million – money that could have been used to pay for 400 extra police officers.
“On top of big cuts to neighbourhood police, the Coalition now wants to weaken police powers to fight anti-social behaviour. They need to rethink these policies as we need stronger action against crime instead of their weak approach.
“Their plans don’t offer proper support for victims of repeated harassment and there are too many loopholes to let offenders off without proper punishment if police resources are tight.
“People in Teesside want to know that if they are a victim of crime, or if they are being regularly harassed by yobs on their street, that the police will have the power to act as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“This all goes to show that the Lib Dems and Tories simply don’t understand the strains and pressures some of our communities are under.”