I am today publishing a draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny by the Home Affairs Select Committee. I would like to thank the Chair for agreeing to undertake this scrutiny and look forward to receiving his report in the new year. It is important that those who are affected by these changes, from the professionals who will use the new powers to victims seeking protection from targeted abuse, continue to shape the reforms, making sure that we get this right first time.
Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own homes and neighbourhoods, but for too many people anti-social behaviour remains a fact of life. The consequences can be devastating, which is why we are putting victims first by taking forward measures in our anti-social behaviour White Paper that will support local areas to:
Focus the response to anti-social behaviour on the needs of victims;
Empower communities to get involved in tackling anti-social behaviour;
Ensure professionals are able to protect the public quickly through the introduction of faster, more effective powers and proposals to speed up the eviction of the most anti-social tenants; and
Focus on long-term solutions.
The draft Bill includes these more effective powers, and also two important new measures to help focus the response to anti-social behaviour on the needs of victims:
The community trigger—will give victims and communities the right to require agencies to deal with persistent anti-social behaviour that has previously been ignored. The trigger could be activated by a member of the public, a community or a business if repeated complaints about anti-social behaviour have been ignored.
The community remedy—will give victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour a say in the punishment of offenders out of court. This means victims will get justice quickly, and the offender has to face immediate and meaningful consequences for their actions.
The draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill can be viewed on the Home Office website and copies are also available in the Vote Office.