UK PM Sunak unveils Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan for safer communities
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a new Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan this week to crack down on illegal activities within communities by handing additional powers to the police to punish drug-related offences and criminal gang activity.
Under an Immediate Justice scheme, those found committing anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage they inflicted on victims and communities, with an ambition for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence. Offenders, who will be made to wear high-visibility vests or jumpsuits and work under supervision, could be made to pick up litter, remove graffiti and wash police cars as punishment for their actions. Victims of anti-social behaviour from the local community will be given a say in offenders’ punishments to ensure justice is “visible and fits the crime”.
The British Indian leader said: “Anti-social behaviour undermines the basic right of people to feel safe in the place they call home.
“The public have rightly had enough – which is why I am determined to restore people’s confidence that those responsible will be quickly and visibly punished. This action plan maps out how we will tackle this issue with the urgency it deserves and stamp out these crimes once and for all – so that wherever you live, you can feel safe in, and proud of your community.”
Under the plan’s “zero-tolerance approach”, Nitrous Oxide or “laughing gas” will also be banned to send a clear message to intimidating gangs, that hang around high streets and children’s parks and litter them with empty canisters, that they will not get away with this behaviour. The drug is now reported as the third most used among 16 to 24-year-olds in England and both the police and public have repeatedly reported links between use of the drug and nuisance or anti-social behaviour.
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UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “The British public are fed up with crime and nuisance behaviour in their neighbourhoods inflicting misery on people.
“There is no such thing as petty crime – not only does antisocial behaviour leave people feeling unsafe, it can also be a gateway into serious criminality. It has always been my priority to give police the powers they need to deliver a common-sense approach to cutting crime, which puts the law-abiding majority first, and that’s what this action plan delivers.”
What the Action Plan covers:
Tougher punishments for criminals
Banning on nitrous oxide or laughing gas
Testing more criminals for illegal drugs
Tougher fines for litter, graffiti and fly-tipping
Making evictions of anti-social tenants easier
“These are not minor crimes. They disrupt people’s daily lives, hold businesses back and erode the sense of safety and community that brings people together,” added Sunak.
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British police will also be given new powers to crackdown on illegal drug use, often a catalyst for other crimes, including expanding powers for drug testing on arrest so more suspected criminals can be tested, and more drugs tested for, including ecstasy and methamphetamine.
A new reporting tool will also be developed over the next 12 months to act as a digital one-stop shop where people can quickly and easily report incidents of anti-social behaviour when these occur.