I’VE USED what so many of you have taught me on how best to counter anti-social behaviour to try and change government policy.
The Coalition Government is reviewing the anti-social behaviour strategy.
The last Government introduced over 40 initiatives to help citizens overwhelmed by neighbours from hell.
But all of them strengthened anti-social behaviour workers’ powers: Not one gave more power to local communities to deal with these abuses themselves.
It struck me when attending protest meetings that we needed to change the game.
My conversion happened when I listened to the police cross question Carol, a mother with a disabled daughter, who had been harassed beyond belief by a local gang.
The police dealt what they thought was their trump card. “You no longer submit diaries on the gang’s behaviour”.
I looked at Carol. “No”, she replied. “I gave up after submitting these diaries for years to no effect”.
Nick Warren, the Birkenhead lawyer, yet again charged to the rescue. A 1361 statute, which is no longer used, allows magistrates to issue warrants to bring offenders to court that day, should a community come together to make a complaint.
I tried to get Labour to pilot the measure but unfortunately the idea got nowhere.
Operating the 1361 statute would change the balance of power on the street.
Decent citizens would have a new weapon to use themselves and the yobs would learn all too quickly that it was their turn to be on the run.