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Rishi Sunak Vows to Take Action Against Anti-Social Behavior

Rishi Sunak Vows to Take Action Against Anti-Social Behavior


  • People who vandalize public spaces will have to repair the damage they cause within 48 hours of being given an order, under new government plans.
  • The pilot, covering 10 areas, aims to show the public such acts are “quickly and visibly” punished.
  • But Labour accused the government of “slashing” neighborhood policing and trying to copy their plan on “tough community payback”.
Rishi Sunak Vows to Take Action Against Anti-Social Behavior

Rishi Sunak Vows to Take Action Against Anti-Social Behavior

New government proposals require individuals who vandalize public spaces to repair any damage caused within 48 hours of receiving an order. Additionally, communities will have a say in the punishment of offenders. 

The pilot program, implemented in 10 areas, aims to quickly and visibly demonstrate consequences for such acts. However, Labour has criticized the government for reducing neighborhood policing and attempting to mimic their “tough community payback” plan.

As part of his plan to eradicate anti-social behavior, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will announce a pilot program on Monday. The program involves providing police and crime commissioners with funding to ensure that those responsible for offenses like graffiti and vandalism begin repairs immediately. 

Offenders will be required to wear jumpsuits or hi-vis jackets and work under supervision so that the public can see that “justice is being done.” If the damage has already been cleaned up, offenders will be assigned other tasks that benefit the local community, such as litter picking or volunteering in shops. The cost and locations of the pilot will be disclosed shortly, and the program is scheduled to be implemented across England and Wales in 2024. 

This initiative comes on the heels of a critical report on the Metropolitan Police by Baroness Casey, which identified austerity as a factor in the erosion of the London force’s frontline policing. According to the report, the city’s neighborhood policing service no longer works, and the force has become less connected and accountable.

‘Eroding safety’

Ahead of the plan being published, Mr Sunak said: “For too long, people have put up with the scourge of anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods.

“These are not minor crimes. They disrupt people’s daily lives, hold businesses back and erode the sense of safety and community that brings people together.

“That’s why I’m bringing forward a new plan to crack down on this behaviour once and for all – so that everyone can feel proud of where they live.”

The government’s plan includes expanding the ‘Community Payback’ scheme, which requires offenders to perform unpaid work, such as cleaning public areas. The government plans to increase the number of hours offenders work from five million to up to eight million per year. 

A pilot program, run by the Probation Service and some local authorities, will deploy teams of offenders quickly to clean up urgent incidents of anti-social behavior. Additionally, the offenders will be involved in campaigns such as Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean. 

In 2022, 1,500 offenders spent almost 10,000 hours on 300 community clean-up projects for the campaign, which the government aims to double in 2023. Labour’s anti-social behavior plans, announced last month, include requiring fly-tippers to remove litter as part of “clean-up squads” and allowing councils to make offenders remove graffiti or rubbish they have dumped.

Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed has responded to the government’s latest plans, stating that the Conservatives have allowed anti-social behavior to ruin people’s lives by cutting back on neighborhood police and letting offenders go unpunished. 

He added that the government has allowed frontline services to crumble, resulting in these crimes plaguing communities, damaging town centers, and making people feel unsafe. Mr. Reed accused the government of copying Labour’s plan on tough community payback and criticized the limited scope of the pilot program, covering only ten areas. 

These comments come after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s speech earlier this week, in which he accused the Tories of being “soft” on anti-social behavior, which he claims is the crime that affects working-class communities the most.

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