NORTH COUNCILS GET CASH TO COMBAT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

VandalismCOUNCILS ACROSS THE NORTH ARE TO GET FUNDING TO TACKLE ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR FOLLOWING A LABOUR GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY.

Communities Secretary John Denham and Housing Minister John Healey unveiled a package of measures designed to tackle anti-social behaviour in local communities.
 
Over £0.5m will be given to 12 councils across the North East, where Anti Social Behaviour is a significant issue, supporting a number of measures including:
 
• Training and supporting an estimated 10,000 community champions and front line staff to equip them to tackle anti social behaviour;
 
• Publicity to make sure millions of residents know how to report anti-social behaviour and that communities know that they aren’t alone – the authorities have powers to tackle it;
 
• And small scale funding for local action to tackle the problem at root via such initiatives as local environmental clean ups.

Local Councils will be able to determine how the money is best spent on local projects.

Welcoming the news, Julie Elliott, Labour’s candidate for Sunderland Central said;

“Anti-social behaviour is still a big issue on the doorsteps and I’m pleased that the government is bringing forward these measures. We need to renewed focus on the issue in the City. Sunderland has done a good job in starting to turnaround the problem but we need to do more. People in Sunderland have the right to live their lives in peace and I’m determined that we take every action we can to stamp out anti-social behaviour.”

Labour’s Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Ashok Kumar said;

 “This is welcome news.  In my area of Teesside, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councils will get an extra £108,000 immediately to help them in their existing work. Hartlepool and Stockton Councils will also benefit.  It is exactly this type of supposedly low-level crime that can ruin people’s lives, which is why I lobbied Government ministers for this extra money.”
 
“This cash will mean that Council’s are able to work better with local residents and that front-line staff, such as Street and Neighbourhood Wardens are better equipped to deal with the problems that are reported to them.  This shows that people’s needs and fears are being addressed, and that there will be a better response in tackling neighbourhood harassment, aggressive gangs or vandalism.”

Labour’s Communities Secretary John Denham said:

“Labour has a strong record on tackling ASB, but we know there is always more that can be done. That is why we are committing to funding schemes like the one announced today so that people feel safe and in control of their own communities.

“The Labour Government wants people to know they are not alone. It might be a minority causing harm and misery for the majority but we are clear - this won't be tolerated. We're backing our communities and our neighbourhoods. To help this we're giving the opportunity to thousands of community champions for support and training so they can ensure councils and police deliver, using all the powers they have and doing all they can."

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk

2. The allocation of funding to Councils in this region is:

    £ (000)
 Darlington  44
 Gateshead  54
 Hartlepool  44
 Middlesbrough 54
 Northumberland 44
 Redcar & Cleve 54
 South Tyneside 54
 Stockton  44
 Sunderland  54
 County Durham 44
 Newcastle u Tyne 54
 North Tyneside 44

2. The £10 million targets 130 local councils where ASB is a significant issue, and supports a package of measures:

o Training and supporting an estimated 10,000 community champions and front line staff to equip them to tackle ASB
o Publicity to make sure millions of residents now how to report ASB and that communities know that they aren’t alone – the authorities have powers to tackle it
o Small scale funding for local action to tackle ASB eg environmental clean ups
o A measures for those living in social housing including a Housing ASB action squad and a binding Respect Standard for social landlords to tackle ASB

3. Today package builds on the Home Secretary’s announcement on 13 October which includes extending victim support services, encouraging areas to set and publicise minimum standards of service dealing with ASB by March 2010 and step up action on ASBO breaches. Today’s announcement is about making sure support and training goes further and deeper across communities to make a difference.

4. The latest British Crime Survey shows the perception of ASB as a local problem has fallen over the last six years (17% of people felt that levels of anti-social behaviour were high in 2008/09 compared to 21% in 2002/03) but the new drive redoubles efforts for more action, faster action and better results 

5. Labour’s no-nonsense approach is bringing crime down. You are now less likely to be a victim of crime than at any time in the last 25 years. Since 1997, all crime has fallen by nearly two-fifths (as measured by the British Crime Survey to the year ending March 2008).
o Overall crime is down 36%
o Domestic burglary is down 54%
o All vehicle-related thefts down 57%
o All household crime down 36%
o All BCS violence down 41%
o All personal crime down 36%

6. David Cameron's “do nothing” approach will not protect law-abiding families. The Tories have even dismissed Labour's investment in knife scanners as a “gimmick”.
They have opposed new powers for local authorities to tackle anti-social behaviour including fly-tipping, abandoned cars, and fixed penalties for litter. And they voted to water down ASBOs, trying to reduce the minimum time they should apply from two years to three months.


• Time and again the Tories vote soft on crime. They have voted against: tougher sentences for murder, sexual and violent offences; the banning of handguns; five year minimum sentences for carrying an illegal gun; allowing new trials for murder if new evidence comes to light; tougher measures to tackle terrorism; and allowing police more powers to take DNA from suspects.

• The Tories don’t understand local communities. That’s why they have said that these measures are gimmicks. They have opposed new powers for local authorities to tackle anti-social behaviour including fly-tipping, abandoned cars, and fixed penalties for litter. And they voted to water down ASBOs, trying to reduce the minimum time they should apply from two years to three months.

• The Tory record on crime from 1979 to 1997 speaks for itself. Under the Tories, crime doubled; violent crime rose by 168%; the number of convictions fell by a third; and the chance of being a victim of violent crime trebled and being a victim of burglary more than doubled.