Crime and Antisocial Behaviour: Slade Road, Birmingham

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:43 pm on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women 5:43 pm, 11th June 2019

I congratulate Jack Dromey and thank him for securing this important debate. His constituents can rest assured that their concerns, worries and experiences have been represented eloquently by their Member of Parliament.

We all know from our own constituencies the significant impact that antisocial behaviour and crime more generally can have on people, families and neighbourhoods. What is often so depressing about this antisocial behaviour is that it is carried out by a very small group of people, and they have such a huge impact on a neighbourhood, on a street or, indeed, on Slade Road.

It is that tiny, tiny group of people nationally—a minority of people—whom we have tried to target through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which I will come on to in a little detail in a moment. We are very conscious of the social impact that such behaviour can have. We recognise that there are countless ways of behaving antisocially, and, indeed, the hon. Gentleman has today set out just a few such examples. That is why, in the 2014 Act, we simplified the powers that were in law at the time and introduced six new powers to replace the previous 19 powers. The powers are flexible and are designed to enable local areas to respond quickly to stop the behaviour and prevent it from reoccurring.

We were conscious of the fact that law enforcement is not always the answer. Action by local authorities or local agencies may well be much more effective in targeting a particular group of people or a particular type of behaviour. The powers that came into force in 2015 comprise community protection notices, civil injunctions, criminal behaviour orders, which can be issued by a court in the event of a conviction, public spaces protection orders, a dispersal power and a closure power.