Antisocial Behaviour

Part of Perpetuities and Accumulations Bill [ Lords] – in the House of Commons at 9:18 pm on 2nd November 2009.

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Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 9:18 pm, 2nd November 2009

The House will be aware that in the year 2007-08, 3.9 million instances of antisocial behaviour were recorded in England and Wales, but we also know that that is a gross underestimation of the actual number, because many people simply will not report instances because they fear reprisals. In fact, it was estimated that last year, more than 30 million instances of antisocial behaviour took place in England and Wales. The Government have pledged to be

"Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime", but I think we are all agreed that that phrase has a hollow element to it right now.

It is not just the Opposition who are critical; I would like to refer to an article in The Daily Telegraph last month by Mr. Field, who wrote:

"Come the election, Labour will have been in office for 13 years. Voters are entitled to ask why...the Government didn't act sooner to counter the hothouse in which neighbours from hell are so easily bred."

Crucially, he added:

"After all, if the defence offered up over the banking crisis is that no one saw it coming, the same cannot be said in relation to anti-social behaviour. There was plenty of evidence that lives were being destroyed."

While the Government sleepwalk, tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are daily subjected to utter and absolute misery, many of whom are the most vulnerable and poorest in society. There is no point Ministers shaking their heads in disapproval: the facts speak for themselves, as do our post bags-

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