Antisocial Behaviour

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

What steps he is taking to tackle the recent increase in levels of antisocial behaviour.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

We are committed to tackling antisocial behaviour, which is why we reformed the powers available to local areas through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Although we recognise there has been a small increase in the number of people who have experienced or witnessed antisocial behaviour in their local area, we would expect local areas to use the powers in the Act to tackle ASB.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

The Minister is correct; more than a third of respondents to the latest crime survey have experienced or witnessed ASB. Whether we are talking about drug dealing, vandalism, or people riding motorbikes or quad bikes in public places, for example, in our parks, it has a real, damaging effect on people’s lives. Will she therefore support Lib Dem calls to invest more in community policing? Will she also publicise more effectively the community trigger, so that people know that it exists?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for raising the point about the community trigger. We, as constituency MPs, can really help to publicise the power of the community trigger and how members of the public can use it to review decisions with which they do not agree. On police funding, he will know that we have just voted through up to an extra £1 billion, with the help of police and crime commissioners, to put into policing. Of course the Home Secretary has set out his commitment to resources as well.

Photo of Mark Pawsey Mark Pawsey Conservative, Rugby

Very well, Mr Speaker. I recently met two distressed constituents who had confronted a gang inside their home who were trying to steal the keys to their car. Prompt action by Warwickshire police prevented anything too serious from happening, but what steps are the Government taking to prevent crime of this nature?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I am concerned to hear of the experience of my hon. Friend’s constituents. He is right to ask about vehicle theft and the terrible impact it can have on victims. Vehicle theft is a priority of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Policing; indeed, he is bringing together industry, the police and others to help to ensure that the response to vehicle theft is as robust and technologically up-to-date as it can be.